Demonstrating family solidarity amidst sorrow - Miss Sridevi

Sridevi sitting in her shop selling biscuit to a little girl

Life had bypassed Sridevi and her family. 45 years old, born with low vision, she progressively lost her sight and became blind. She has two brothers, similarly afflicted with low vision. One brother was sighted and his three BPS family members lived with him. The sighted brother was a local push-cart vendor and made a small income, with which he supported the siblings' family. An elder sighted brother, married with two children lived separately. The late father worked as a small broker in the local agricultural produce and grain market. The family was poor economically but rich in warmth and mutual caring for each other.

When we first spoke to Sridevi, she requested us to speak to her sighted brother who would guide and decide on further action. We informed him about some successfully rehabilitated clients and the whole family was motivated to join our training. That is when we learnt about her two low vision brothers. All three joined in our O&M and DLS training. It was interesting to watch how the three siblings cooperated and supported each other. Initially Sridevi was hesitant to use a white cane for fear of being ridiculed. But her brothers supported her and motivated her. However, we found her attentive to our questions and suggestions and would deliberate before giving her answers.

Their pleasant behaviour had a direct effect on the attitudes of neighbours who became complimentary about their efforts from earlier dismissivenss. Finally, we selected Sridevi as one of our beneficiaries for the rehabilitation grant scheme, having found her the most diligent and industrious amongst the three siblings. She has opened a petty shop and has daily savings of over Rupees One hundred on sales between Rs. 500 to 700. "MY life has become meaningful," she exults thanking AICB. "I never dreamt that life would have any meaning for me. Now I am planning to expand my shop." Her sighted brother assists her as required, to make purchases for the shop.