Laxmi is named after the Hindu goddess of fortune, love, and prosperity. However, due to her family’s misfortune and her gender, Laxmi has spent her life fighting being labeled as bad luck.
When Laxmi was two and a half years old her father was killed in an automobile accident while working in India. Severely affected by the death of her husband, Laxmi’s mother became mentally unstable and began suffering from night blindness. Because they occurred after her birth, Laxmi’s highly superstitious family blamed these hardships on Laxmi being a jinx.
After her father’s death, Laxmi’s mother sent Laxmi and her three siblings to live with their uncle. He was able to provide the bare necessities for the family, but Laxmi still describes life there as a financial struggle. “My uncle sent my brothers to school but later when I grew I was not to go to school because my uncle thought that it was not necessary for a girl to attend school, and moreover he did not want to waste extra tuition fees on someone else’s child.” Laxmi says, “So, I was sent to look after goats and collect grass for my uncle’s cattle.” When she was 8 years old Laxmi’s uncle wanted to send her to an orphanage to reduce his expenses. “One evening when I came back with the goats (ServLife Children’s Director) Udaya was there to pick me up to take me to an orphanage, but I was scared and I cried a lot. I did not want to go because what would a girl of 8 know when somebody comes to take her from where she called a home?” Laxmi describes. Fortunately, this scary experience was a turning point in Laxmi’s life.
Director Udaya saw that Laxmi did not want to go to the children’s home. Wanting to keep her family together, he decided to fill their real need. He set up a scholarship for Laxmi’s education and enrolled her in a local school. After 7 years of support, Laxmi is now 15 and studying in grade 5. Life is still sometimes a struggle. Laxmi’s conservative Hindu family makes her sleep outside the home during monthly menstruation because at that time women are “untouchable.” There is very little to go around and ServLife is supplementing Laxmi with other needs such as clothing, as well as providing her scholarship. But despite all this Laxmi is thriving. “I am getting those things that I need which the ones around me are supposed to give me but they cannot and would not provide.” Laxmi says, “I know there are people praying for me, ready to encourage me and still supporting me from far far away and I have a God who knows that I am not bad luck.”
Situations like Laxmi’s are why we are committed to propelling justice and building global community to care for and educate children. If you would like to support a girl like Laxmi, visit our child sponsorship page.
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