Saraswati Received Social Security Allowance
Saraswati Sunar (39) lives in a rural village in Baglung with her sons, in-laws, and husband. As a child, she was deprived of education because she belonged to a lower caste and a poor household. Saraswati was married off young, like many other women in her community, and she gave birth to two sons. The family had to live hand-to-mouth due to their extreme poverty. Saraswati worked as a day laborer to feed her family. Her husband, however, was a heavy drinker and didn’t contribute much to the household. He frequently went on drunken rages, causing trouble in the family and community. Saraswati’s mental health started deteriorating due to the stress of providing for her family and her husband’s behavior. She began displaying signs of distress. She stopped going to work, isolated herself and became distant from everyone, including her sons. No one in her family understood the trauma she was going through. To make matters worse, her husband abused her frequently while intoxicated.
When her relatives learned about Saraswati’s situation, they decided to intervene and took custody of her. Realizing the severity of her mental health condition, they sought help from an organization working for women empowerment. The organization contacted KOSHISH and informed them about her mental health condition. After observation, the KOSHISH team visited her and decided to enroll her at KOSHISH’s emergency care center for intensive care.
Saraswati initially refused to socialize with anyone at the emergency care center, declined to speak with the counselors, and refused to eat with others. She appeared hopeless and unmotivated. The KOSHISH team established rapport by making an effort to socialize with her and giving her space when necessary. Over time, Saraswati started noticing improvements in other beneficiaries at the emergency care home, which gave her hope that her mental health issues would improve. She gradually began socializing with her peers and venting her feelings to the counselors. She even started participating in therapeutic activities. She began showing positive behavioral changes, participated in daily activities, and maintained cleanliness. KOSHISH decided to reintegrate her into her family after noticing significant improvements in her mental health.
During Saraswati’s reintegration, her sons were
glad to see her; however, the rest of the family seemed skeptical about her improvement. The KOSHISH team sensitized them about mental health and that Saraswati required care and support from her family to maintain her mental well-being and avoid relapses. Her husband promised that he would not abuse her anymore. In the following days, Saraswati’s positive behavioral changes and participation in daily activities convinced the family to accept her wholeheartedly. She also obtained her category “A” disability ID card with the help of KOSHISH and the local government.
During a recent follow-up, Saraswati was in good mental health and leading a productive life. Saraswati’s improved mental health has benefited her and the entire family. She makes a living by raising cattle. Her husband has also left home to work in a foreign country and regularly sends money home to support the family. Her earnings, money from her husband, and the monthly allowance from her disability card have helped her make ends meet for the family. She can manage her household well and can afford both her sons’ education. Saraswati’s success has inspired her community and given hope to those in similar situations.