#StoriesOfResilience | Karuna’s Hope

By Meghna Prakash, #COVIDActionCollab

February 18, 2022

For Archana*, most of her day is confined to her small one-room kitchen home in a village in Kalaburagi. Archana is still adapting to her disability, after gradually losing her sight and ability to talk at the age of ten. One in a family of four children, Archana’s family struggles to give her the attention and care she needs – be it in terms of resources to educate herself, or the means to help her be independent and step outside of her home. 

20-year-old Archana spends her day mostly in bed, as her mother goes out to work as an agricultural laborer on other’s farms. Archana is not bereft of tragedy, losing her father over fifteen years ago to death by suicide, over community gossip. Her brothers stay with her grandmother, and her sister has been married off, making Archana rely solely on her mother for all of her needs.

Archana draws a lot of her strength from her mother Karuna, who works tirelessly in fields and earns up to 3,000 rupees a month to sustain her home. Karuna also relies on welfare schemes provided by the state government to run her household. In disarray, Karuna shared that it’s been four months since she has received her welfare money, and that is a financial burden that has been rather overwhelming for her to manage. 

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Karuna and Archana’s home doesn’t have a toilet, which makes it challenging for the two women, who have to travel daily far and wide to remote locations just to access a toilet. 

Karuna is extremely driven, and every day continues to work to give her children a better life, especially to be able to one day educate her daughter Archana. She is hoping that someday she will be able to have a toilet in her home and receive welfare payments on time. She also hopes that she will also be able to have the support of her community as that is something she lacks.

Karuna dreams of starting a bangle store as supplementary income and wants to buy Archana a wheelchair, so she can take her daughter places. During the pandemic, she was supported by the Government with ration. Karuna wants Archana, and her other three children to have a better life than she has had, and wants them to be literate since she couldn’t educate herself. She hopes to someday be a successful small business owner, with her daughter having access to more opportunities rather than just being confined in a small home. 

*Name changed to protect the identity

Note: While efforts to help vulnerable communities largely surrounded relief and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, the #COVIDActionCollab (CAC) and its partners Head Held High and TRIFF have come together to focus on building their resilience. Through multi-sectoral collaborations, we’ve established and developed a holistic framework to build the economic resilience of vulnerable households and support communities as they bounce forward amidst any crisis. 

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