A woman’s tale of courage, struggle and love to get son freed from the clutches of a moneylender is what has warmed the nation’s heart. Read how for Rs 2000 this young mother was reduced to the state all because of an inhuman moneylender.

Seven months ago, Rita’s husband Mukesh died in Dimapur, Nagaland, but what’s even more tragic than her husband’s death was she did not have money to pay for his funeral. So in desperate times, she approached a moneylender for Rs 2000 to finish the last rites. Since she had no material collateral to submit, the young mother in her 20s, was forced to leave her son there with the moneylender as security. She then came all the way to Uttar Pradesh to find a job to pay off that Rs 2000 loan.

Vulnerable and desperate, she accompanied her brother-in-law to Uttar Pradesh, Agra, to look for a job. Sadly, the man took off as soon as they landed in Agra and she was left all alone to look after her three-year-old son and her two-year-old daughter and find a job. At first, she secured a job in the tea gardens but for Rs 40 a day, meeting the Rs 2000 mark was next to impossible.

 In an even more distressing turn of events, the moneylender stopped her from meeting her son. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, she even tattooed her son Sonu’s name on her hand because of the separation. She could not find a job and to feed her children and sustain her energy, she was left to dig through dustbins since she did not have money to buy food. Her family’s meals were spoilt and rotten food, water was from dirty filthy drains. She tried to secure clean water but with no money a shopkeeper accused her of being a thief for stealing a water bottle.

Social activist Naresh Paras saw the woman’s odd behaviour in Agra’s Shah market. He tried his best to communicate with her but he failed. After knowing her ordeal, Naresh and the city police managed to contact social workers in Dimapur and they looked for the money lender to whom the woman owed Rs 2000.  After the local vendors and shopkeepers came to know of her distressing tale, they pitched in Rs 3,500, and provided her with clothes, food and other necessities so that she and her family could sustain for some time.

It is heartening to note that on Mother’s Day she boarded the Brahmaputra Mail at 3 am accompanied by RPF and GRP personnel back to Dimapur, to be reunited with her son Sonu.

(lead image is for representational purpose)