True Story 3 – Abandoned
(Some names have been changed to protect their identities)
Mala had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was her first child. As she nursed the beautiful baby she thanked God for this beautiful gift. She was an illiterate adivasi (tribal) girl. She was married off to a man in her own tribe. It was their first baby. As she nursed her child, she searched for her husband in the hospital. He was not around. She was confused. She wanted him to hold their beautiful daughter. She wanted him to see how lovely she looked. But he was not around.
Her husband did not visit her in the hospital after the delivery. After few days she came home from the hospital. He was reserved. He seemed angry. She went to him with the baby. But he would not touch their baby girl.
Instead he screamed at her. He started to abuse her and their baby. She was confused. She was still recovering from the delivery and did not have the strength to understand what was going on. Her husband continued to scream. He said that he always wanted to have a son. He blamed her for giving birth to a girl child. He said that the Gods had punished him with a useless wife. His dream of having a son was destroyed due to his wife. Mala started to cry. She looked at the baby in her arms. She was unsure of her future. She held her tightly as if to draw strength from her child. She wept.
The tears never stopped. The abuse, the blows, the pain never stopped. Her husband was frustrated that he did not have a son. A daughter was a burden to society, burden to him. According to her husband, bringing up a daughter was expensive and useless because she would not be around to take care of them during their old age. She hoped that her husband would look at that tiny lovely face and change his mind but that never happened……….
One day her husband never came home from work. She waited and waited. Then one of her husband’s friends told her that he had left to Kerala. Mala was shocked. She had never once imagined what she would do if her husband abandoned her. But there she was all alone and lonely………
The staff of ThiruOli Charitable Trust had taught Mala about nutrition and health when she was pregnant. They heard about her plight now. One of their staff Kalanjiyam went to meet her. She comforted her and taught her about hygiene and how to care for her baby. She started to go to work. The staff of ThiruOli met with her regularly and also gave her monetary assistance.
After few months, Mala’s husband returned to her. She was overjoyed to see him. She thought that her baby will finally get the love of her father. He stayed with her for a few days and abandoned her again. Then she found out that her husband was now living in Kerala with another woman. She was heartbroken. That is when she discovered that she was pregnant again. But she was so distraught with grief that she simply refused to eat. Kalanjiyam started to spend more time with her. She comforted and counseled her. She advised her to think about her first baby as well as the baby in her womb. She started to eat again. The trust continued to support her monetarily. But Mala continued to be sad. Kalanjiyam discussed about her with the trust staff as she was worried that Mala was not eating enough and she continued to be worried about the absence of her husband. Then it was time for Mala to give birth. The staff somehow sent word for her husband. But there were not sure if he would come. There was no one to help Mala at the time of delivery.
Then the staff of ThiruOli swung into action. They got Mala admitted in the Government hospital. Mala gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. But the baby had to be kept in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as there was not enough blood supply going to the baby’s brain. The doctor said that the mother’s lack of nutrition or her stressful mental condition could have caused this problem in the new born. Kalanjiyam stayed in the hospital taking care of Mala. Her husband visited her once. He was not happy to find that the second child was also a girl. He then went back to Kerala. As Mala was lonely with no one by her side, Kalanjiyam continued to help her. The trust staff spoke to the doctor regularly to understand if the baby’s condition had stabilized. After battling for her life for a month, the baby girl miraculously survived. After a month the baby felt the warmth of her mother’s love. After this month long ordeal Mala was overjoyed to go home. The trust’s staff discharged her from the hospital and got her home in the tribal settlement. Kalanjiyam comforted her and encouraged her to take care of both her baby girls.
Mala was filled with hope and courage. Though no one was by her side, she was grateful of all the help she had received from the ThiruOli staff. She did not know if her husband would ever come back to her. But she looked at her 2 little baby girls and knew that she wanted to live for them. She decided that she would give all her love to them as she was no longer lonely. She had them and they had her.
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