Adversity often prepares people for extraordinary destinies. So is the case of a young girl in Bengaluru who aced her exams, despite having been tied down to household chores in 10 different homes along with the responsibility of looking after her family.
Elu Afshan, a student of Government PU College, passed her exams with flying colours, fulfilling her mother’s lifelong dream. A domestic help, her mother never wanted Afshan to do the work she had spent her whole life doing.
Securing a first class in commerce, Afshan has given her mother reason to dream of a bright future for her child.
For representational purposes. Source: Public Domain Pictures
Apart from working in 10 households, and taking care of her bed-ridden father, Afshan also looks after her two younger siblings: one has just finished 10th and the other is in the 8th standard. “My mother is the sole bread-winner of our family. Some days she gets tired or needs help, so I join her,” Afshan told Bangalore Mirror.
Hardly a day goes by, without Afshan having to help her mother who worked in about 10 houses and often fell sick. As the eldest child, she felt the need to lend a shoulder to her mother, who had been carrying the burden of looking after the entire family. As soon as her classes finished, Afshan would head to the houses and helped her mother finish the work faster.
“I washed vessels, clothes and cleaned the house. Everyone at the houses too was supportive and never complained about my mother’s work. Some of the persons used to send me back as they knew my exams were nearing,” she said.
The 17-year-old also spends time nursing her father, who has been bedridden due to an accident. “My father was working as a painter, but after a fall, his knee broke and he was bed-ridden for many months. That was a distressing time for us,” she said.
Having worked at all the houses that her mother used to work, Afshan acknowledges the care and concern her employers used to express. “All of them took care of me like their kid,” she added.
Nothing comes easy in life, especially not without hurdles.
Afshan remembers the tough and testing time in between the exams when her mother started falling ill too often. “It was difficult, with my father in this condition and my brother and sister also studying for their exams. I could barely study for two hours a day. There were days when I had to stay back in college to study before coming home,” she told.