Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kumari and life changes

Kumari, one of our long-time street moms, has been staying at Karunya Mane as she suffers from lung damage. After a recent ten-day stay at a local hospital to recover from a serious case of pneumonia and hypoxia, she came to KM to live. During her first month after being discharged from the hospital, Kumari needed to be on oxygen, and it was a challenge for her to adjust.

While on the street, Kumari sold vegetables or made flower leis, and she worked hard to earn decent wages during the flower season. She was one of the first women we met on the street in 2005, and she did her best to care for her kids even in that challenging environment. See a brief interview with Kumari in our Operation Shanti Introduction Video.

Kumari helped us tremendously through our Street People Program, referring orphans and other destitute children to us and trying to ensure that the other women in our program behaved properly. Kumari has always been reliable, a straight-talker, engages in no drama or B.S., and only cares about the well-being of her kids.

Kumari at KM with little Mohan, her 3-year-old son, and little Adarsh

Kumari, little Nanjunda (nephew), and Sumitra (daughter)
during a visit with grannie Rachamma

The doctors say that Kumari's lungs won't improve and the goal is to prevent them from worsening. A clean-air environment can help immensely. Unfortunately, the pollution in the city would be too much for her lungs.

Her condition has improved a bit, and she doesn't need the oxygen as much, but her right lung "crackles" when the doctor listens to her breathing, so we are encouraging her to stay at KM. She can watch her kids -- Mohan, Sumitra, Prema, and Venkatesh -- at KM grow up, attend school, and enjoy their childhood.