20-03-2017 02:00 PM
Sukhada Khandge | My Indian Dream      67
Lucy Kurien has given hope to more than 4000 women and children in destitute state. While discussing about International Women’s Day, she believes that education is must for any kind of empowerment.
Shelter is one of the important aspects of anyone life and when it comes to women who undergo sufferings it becomes more difficult to find one. Considering the same problem, Lucy Kurien has been working for women empowerment for more than 20 years now.
Being a sister, what started as a small deed of action when Kurien received a small financial help for needy in India is now transformed into Maher, an NGO that provides shelter home for women in distress.
Since then, Maher has helped around 4000 needy women who were in distress and have given them a new hope for their life.
Hailing from a middle-class agricultural family in Kunnur in Kerala, Kurien came to Mumbai to complete her education after class 7th as there were school in her village that would offer higher studies. Later she joined Missionaries of Charity to help poor and needy. Being a sister later, she decided to work in the field of social work.
In Maher’s 20 years of service, number of branches have bloomed where the services are provided for women and children from different stratas of life. Maher has indeed helped many destitute women and given them a different life and has really empowered women.
Kurien said, “When we talk about Women’s day, I personally feel that the day needs more meaning. The situation is altogether different between cities and villages.”
“In cities much importance is given to education hence women empowerment is possible, but in villages the situations is drastically different and pathetic. Women still have to fight for their basic rights in rural areas which are far from the world that celebrates International Women’s Day,” she added.
While working in rural parts of India, Kurien has pointed out that education is the basis of overall development and villages in India lack the same.
As she was roaming in the interiors of Jharkand for survey, she could feel the lack of quality education in the villages.
She said, “I am here for few days and could not find teachers in most of the schools. Children here are present but teachers fail to come and teach students regularly. Even while government is spending crores of rupees in education still the basic education in villages remains poor.”
She further said that education is the basis of development and be it women empowerment or any development, education is must in any case.
While Kurien believes in education, the NGO started by her ‘Maher’ has been giving shelter to the needy. Maher, which means mother’s house, gives ladies the warmth that they get in their mother’s house. There is home for orphans, destitute women, mentally disturbed women, expected mothers, crèche and day care for brick-kiln workers and self help groups among many others.
Lucy Kurein has received Nari Shakti Puraskar by Government of India for her contribution in the field of social work.
Apart from this, Maher located in Pune District has also received around 65 awards and have been asked by others states like Kolkatta to start their branches at various places.