The struggle of the brave widow goes onThe lady was frail. She was not much educated. She lacked confidence. Born in a conservative family and married to a more conservative family, she generally did not come out of the house. Her husband was not a great achiever. He managed a small shop in central Kolkata. The man used to sell different types of Darjeeling tea and Assam tea in his shop. They had two small children - a boy and a girl. They lived in the paternal house of the man in Central kolkata.
Several years after their marriage, the man suddenly fell ill. He underwent long and painful treatment, but the treatment was not successful. He left this world. The young widow was all alone in this big world with two small children. But her problem continued. She had to face various property-related problems due to her husband's brothers. After bitter dispute, she was allowed to stay in a small room in her husband's paternal house.
Her struggle started. The lady who had never gone out of her own home, was forced to manage the shop of her husband. For the sake of her two young children, she started fighting. She managed the shop, kept the accounts, convinced the suppliers and sold good products to the sellers. At the same time, she had to cook for her children and even had to manage their education. Her condition was precarious during the initial years but she never lost hope. After more than twelve years of continuous struggle, her life changed a bit. Her son completed engineering and got a job. But she continued toiling. After another four or five years, her daughter also completed diploma in nursing and joined a State Government hospital in Kolkata. The small family finally survived the turbulent days.
But the lady has changed a lot during last 15-16 years. Now she has settled her children, and at the same time she has gained confidence. She has learnt business. So, she has started assisting other women who are helpless and financially weak because of various family problems. She has expanded her business and employed many women from poor family. With sharp business acumen, good customer relation and perfect rapport with the suppliers, her business has been progressing rapidly and she has been helping many poor women in Kolkata.
Her children are now settled. But she is still fighting. Nowadays she is fighting for more than a hundred of financially weak women of Kolkata and its neighbouring areas.
I salute this brave and determined lady who not only helped her children to survive and prosper, but has been helping other women for their finacial betterment.
(Competition entry: International Women's Day contest - 2017)