For Gayathri, life has been anything but kind. After getting married at the young age of 19, she lost her husband to a road accident when she was 5 months pregnant. Her father, a tailor supporting their family on his meagre income, suffered a spinal cord injury. The injury affected his ability to work and support his daughter and grandchild.
Worried that she could not raise a child by herself at such a young age, Gayathri’s parents got her married a second time. However, in their hurry, they failed to do their due diligence. Her second husband was a drunkard and a habitual cheat who had gotten married thrice before. For Gayathri, life with him was a veritable hell on earth. She was trapped in an abusive marriage and had no one to support her. During those dark, depressing days, Gayathri often thought of committing suicide along with her baby boy.
It was during this time that she met an alumnus of the Cognizant Foundation-ANEW Skilling for Women programme. Hearing her talk about the transformative effects of the skill training programme was the catalyst that Gayathri needed to break out from the dark cloud she had found herself under. After completing the Home Nursing programme, she got a job in a top-tier hospital in the COVID ward.
Gayathri credits the skilling programme for empowering her and helping her become self-sufficient. “I am a confident, happy person today because of Cognizant Foundation and ANEW. You have given me the courage to face life. One day during the height of the pandemic, around 20 patients were in my ward, which broke me mentally. But, I was able to reach out to counsellors from the programme who helped me recover. The level of care that I received is more than I could’ve ever imagined.”, she says.
This story of Gayathri is an example of the many such women who have benefitted from the Home Nursing training programme provided by Cognizant Foundation in partnership with the Association for Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW), Chennai.
This programme identifies underserved women between 18-35 years of age and completed their 8th standard but dropped out before completing high school education for training. The training covers basic skills in caring for patients, geriatric and pediatric care, communication and life skills. ANEW helps the trained women to get placed as nursing assistants in hospitals or as home nurses. During the pandemic, the programme converted to a hybrid model of training and placements.
Over 338 women have benefited from this programme.