Vilasha B.

Vilasha B.

Date: March 31, 2016
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I had a very dark childhood and marriage life. I believe that I have always been cursed by life. Being an orphan and having lived in a shelter, I have never known the warmth of a family life. I had decided to build mine when I fell in love and married that gentleman. However, my life was more than a curse after the marriage.

The course I followed by Gender Links (GL) in 2013 helped me a lot to develop myself. I have always been depressive and even tried to commit suicide twice but I would think of my kids and their future. The course by GL made me think otherwise. I am now no longer depressive and psychologically better. The course has boosted my self-confidence and now I can affront any problems of life courageously which is why I am still here today. Due to Gender Links, I have come out of my timidity. I can solve any constraints by myself. I do not need anyone’s help anymore.

I wanted to set my business by cultivating vegetables near my house and sell them. I also love to cook and I wanted to sell Mauritian food near my house. I always had a passion to plant vegetables and with time, I realised that this has helped me sustained by family for we can get readily available vegetables from my garden. We are very poor and going to the supermarket to but vegetables and food is not within our capacity. We live in a state owned land and the house built on the plot of land equally belongs to the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF). Basically, we have no material possession and we are living on the facilities provided by the government.

I cannot go out to work because my husband did a surgical operation after which he had his leg amputed. He is bed ridden and I constantly need to be by his side and look after him like a baby. He is also partly visually impaired and I have to do all his things from brushing his teeth to changing his clothes. I cannot live him on his own as he has got no family members and also because I have nowhere to go. My life is a hell because I am poor yet I cannot go out to work because I have to assist my husband. Hence, I wanted to set up my business and have my vegetable garden and sell food in my yard. However, I cannot do so due to legal rules. Since I do not have a plot of land and a house, I did not receive my permit from the Council. I am still awaiting an alternative reply for if this continues my family and myself with die in poverty.

I do sell vegetables to my neighbours in the locality but informally just to sustain my family. I am using this business as a means to help my family and the course with GL taught me the tactics to succeed. Even though I do not have a permit and that I am unable to sell food, I have not let go of my dreams. I have entailed all legal procedures to have the permit and start my business. I know that the market is favourable and that I would earn enough with the business to take me out of poverty. I believe and I hope that something good would happen to me. I might have been cursed in life; I am poor, my kids are deprived of pleasures children of their age would have, my husband still beats me even though he is bed ridden; I know that there is hope at the end of the tunnel for me.

To keep myself busy and happy, I meet my friends who live nearby and we sit to talk. I have been able to overcome a lot of things through this course and I am grateful to GL for this. But I also believe that the government has a role to play to consider the situation of women who are like me. I live on the invalid pension of my husband and this is not sufficient to run the house. Cost of living are rising up and I need to find money to survive and look after my family. I am not getting help from the council only because I am homeless but that does not mean that I have no rights. The council workers need to come in the fields and see how we are living to understand the harsh reality of life. It is simply not easy to survive like this. I am ambitious, I want to be an entrepreneur so as to be independent but sometimes people who hold power overlook the situation of poor people like me.