Neela is a motherless child, she also lost her father recently. Her step-mother works as a brick chamber laborer. Her two sisters were sent to do menial jobs due to their extremely poor financial conditions. She was also withdrawn from schooling, despite her interests in studies. Later, she was admitted in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in her VI standard. The child, who finished three year residential course in the same school, realized the value of education, worked hard and secured 425/500 in her Eighth Standard Board examination and stood State second. Her aim now is to become a school teacher and serve others like her.
Saraswathi belongs to a lower middleclass family in Villupuram district. Although she had some discomforts in health, she always preferred self medication. The medical camp served as an eye-opener for her. When she was examined by one of our doctors, a cyst was suspected to have developed in her uterus. To our great honor, a cyst weighing 3 kg was removed from uterus, which if not have been removed on time would have proved fatal.
In the year 2010, the ashram undertook the project of tank renovation at Semmanangur village with the assistance of CAPART. It involved all the village people to do the volunteer work for the tank renovation. Many women from Self Help Groups and Sri Sarada Seva Samithi belonging to different villages offered Shramadan for a day. The women folk of the village expressed that before the ashram entered their village, the caste indifferences were very deep and there was no hope to unite the people for a common cause. But the selfless service of the sanyasin sisters has made them realize that they are one. They also expressed that they were very happy to do something not only for their village but also for their nation at large in the coming years.
The story of Chitra from Sengurichi village is quite a different one, for people travel from villages to cities to earn a living but she did the opposite with the help of our Ashram's self-help group. She and her husband, who worked in Mumbai, came back to their village to start a rexine bag making unit. They were unable to bear with the high-cost of living and the choking environment of the city. When they returned none of the villagers offered help for this new venture, the self-help group in her village offered financial support many times and now she is a successful entrepreneur and a role model for other women in the village.
One of the most important events in the ashram was 150th Jeyanthi Celebrations of Holy Mother Sri Saradadevi. Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai organized a programme of All Tamil Nadu Ratosav. It was the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Sarada Devi, The Shakthi of Sri Ramakrishna. A ratam with Mother's image was taken throughout Tamil Nadu, from Chennai to Kanyakumari and returned by a different route. The duration was around 25 days covering a distance of nearly 3000 kms. A grand reception with public meeting and cultural programmes was arranged by Sri Sarada ashram on 16th November 2003.
"I have two sons and two daughters. Even a couple of years back I used to work well, but due to my old age I am unable to continue the same now. My daughters-in-law were forcing me to involve in household works like cooking and cleaning, and if I fail to listen to them they refused to give me food. I pleaded them to allot me comparatively easier works like gardening and sweeping the house, they refused and abandoned me.
I felt miserable due to the behavior of my sons and I did not want to stay with my daughters as my sons-in-law might consider me a burden in the long run. I heard that the Ashram is taking care of uncared women like me. They took me in immediately and took care of me as if I am family. I feel like a child once again!"
Athipakkam, a village near Ulundurpet was sunk in deep sorrow and depression because of a big fire accident. Nearly 200 houses were burnt down to ashes. The hard earned money saved by the toil of their sweat and blood was no more. All their belongings could not be traced at all. No grains or cereals to meet the requirements of their next meal. Such was the pathetic condition prevailing there.
Our sanyasin sisters consoled these depressed people and added hope to their lives.
We also distributed food for a couple of days, for around 1000 villagers. We provided them with basic necessities and relief materials. The deprived became delighted and we could see tears of joy in them. The victims along with Sanyasin sisters prayed to the village deity Sri Mariamman and Ma Sri Sarada Devi to protect them from the natural calamities forever.