TBI BLOGS: Deepa’s Struggle to Keep Her Kids in School is What a Mother’s Love is All About

SOS Children's Villages of India is committed to the welfare of children - often throughout the whole of their childhood - and to strengthening families and communities as a preventive measure in the fight against abandonment and social neglect. The organization is over 50 years old in India and it advocates the concerns, rights and needs of children in need of care and protection.

This mother has worked hard to save her family from economic ruin. Today, she is determined to help other women and mothers like herself.

Deepa Gopalan, from Cheenikadu district in Thrissur, set up a stitching and tailoring unit in 2015. Today, she plans to help other women by generating employment opportunities for them.

Deepa’s passion and zeal know no bounds.

Mother, Livelihood, Family, Vulnerable families, education, children in need, abandonment of children

Deepa Gopalan at her home in Cheenikadu district, Thrissur

She is part of the SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP), a community intervention programme that aims at preventing the abandonment of children. Working closely with the Pananchery Panchayat, near Thrissur, Kerala, FSP provides vulnerable families with livelihood and capacity building opportunities and with nutritional, educational and psycho-social support for their children.

Deepa lives in the Cheenikadu district, one of the many districts under the three clusters of the Pananchery Panchayat. Alcohol dependency, unemployment, and the unregulated use of soft and hard drugs have mainly ripped families off their wealth, will, and any regular source of income. Such was Deepa’s family’s reality almost two years ago.

She has three sons and all three of them would have been out of school, not by choice, but because of the family’s sheer inability to do something about their tumbling finances.

Deepa Gopalan’s family was brought under the SOS Family Strengthening Programme after needs based participatory rural appraisal and a social investigation were conducted in the Pananchery area, bringing over 200 families under the programme’s purview.

FSP helped Deepa set up her first stitching unit and she underwent training for the same. In the last one year, she has been able to contribute significantly to her home’s income – the family monthly income has risen by Rs. 3000.

Her husband, who was earlier sitting idle at home, is now motivated to run a small grocery shop of his own.

Woman of substance, family, livelihood, children, education

Deepa with her husband, at their grocery kiosk

Not only is Deepa working hard today to support her family and three sons, but she is also dreaming of renovating her house and setting up funds for her sons’ higher education.

A year into her own business, Deepa is already aiming at helping other women who can join her and earn for themselves and their families too.

Tailoring unit, livelihood, woman of substance, children, education

Deepa Gopalan’s house in Cheenikadu, Thrissur

“I just want my children to become good human beings. I want to help other women like me out of their misery,” says a cheerful Deepa.

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