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From Struggle to Strength | Sohanaben’s Journey of Resilience and Empowerment

In an effort to prevent the need for institutionalization by empowering families and strengthening community support systems, Miracle Foundation India along with its partner organization, The Deepak Foundation, has been implementing the prevention and family strengthening program at the community level in Chhota Udepur district, Gujarat.

A testament to the transformative impact of this initiative is the story of Sohanaben, residing in Jaloda village of Chhota Udepur district. Her husband’s passing away suddenly made Sohanaben the sole provider for the family. She had to take care of her two young sons, aged 12 and 7, all on her own. On noticing the challenges faced by her, particularly financial, the team of volunteers associated with Miracle Foundation India’s program, with support from the District Child Protection Committee (DCPU), took strategic steps to support Sohanaben and her children. The team initiated the process of securing a widow pension for her, ensuring a steady source of income. Additionally, they facilitated access to healthcare through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogaya Yojana card which provided her with a safety net for the family’s healthcare needs. The team also assisted her by connecting her with the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, offering her Rs. 2 lakh insurance cover.

To further empower Sohanaben, the DCPU enrolled her in the Mission Mangalam Yojana, a program aimed at uplifting women through the formation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) where Sohanaben took on the role of Secretary in her SHG. Noticing her firm determination, the team also facilitated her participation in sewing training, equipping her with the skills needed to become a proficient tailor. With determination and resilience, Sohanaben ventured into sewing, initially catering to her village and eventually expanding her clientele to neighboring areas. The success of her sewing venture enabled Sohanaben to open a small grocery shop at her home, diversifying her sources of income.

With her business flourishing, Sohanaben is now using her earnings to improve her family’s living conditions, while also ensuring her children’s education remains uninterrupted. Upon benefitting from the support received, Sohanaben also joined as a volunteer to assist other women in similar situations.

This experience has significantly boosted Sohanaben’s confidence and strengthened her sense of identity.