SUMANGALI SEVASHRAMA: A HOME FOR HELPLESS HINDU WOMEN
B.E. Seetha Lakshmi, Bangaluru, India
This is the story of Susheelamma who in spite of being born poor, has managed to provide shelters for hundreds of helpless women. As a child, Susheelamma had to struggle even for a day’s meal. As a student in elementary school, she was placed on the poor student’s list to receive free books, clothes and school supplies from donors. When she grew up, she worked as an operator in a factory for 15 years to make ends meet. However, all through her struggles, her spirit remained strong and she made up her mind to dedicate her life to helping others in need.
Thus emerged a diligent social activist and the founder of Sumangali Sevashrama, a women’s shelter which she started in 1975 with only 5 women inmates. She had to endure a lot of hardship to sustain the institution. However, the society responded to her selfless efforts, and today there are over 150 women taking shelter in the ashram. Apart from the Ashram, Susheelamma also runs 2 schools with over 1200 students, 2 primary health care centers, and an adult education center for women. She also organizes training camps to teach self-employment skills to needy women.
Her selfless work has brought her many awards such as the National Award for handloom unit, Karnataka state award for child welfare, Babasaheb Ambedkar award, Kittur Rani Chennamma award, Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani award and the Human Rights award by HRA, New Delhi. She is also a member of many state and central committees.
At 79, Susheelamma is a legend in her own way and an inspiration to everyone
About the presenter…
Seetha Lakshmi is a retired teacher, and currently working as a karyakartha for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Bengaluru.