Connecting local responses around the world
Padmavathy is working as a Manager-Capacity Building in CARE-SAKSHAM team for the past six years. SAKSHAM project works with Community Based Organizations of female sex workers in Andhra Pradesh. During these six years she created many leaders through her art of ‘Appreciating’ the community and helping them believe in their ‘strengths’ to deal with their problems. Many community leaders owe their gratitude for Padmavathy for inspiring them to become great leaders through her art of facilitating and working with the most marginalized groups.
‘Baby former President of Nari Saksham, Female Sex worker CBO based at Rajamundry narrates her experience of how support, appreciation and listening helped her in one of the SALT trainings.
‘I used to sit in a corner and listen to Padmavathy madam during the training programs. Seeing madam listening, appreciating and encouraging the community members to speak out, I gathered my strength to share my reflections to a question she raised. Big applaud for my response encouraged me to continue to speak at every opportunity and move ahead to become the President of Nari Saksham a female sex workers CBO based at Rajamundry’. This is just an anecdote of one of the community leaders she has created.
In the month of ‘June 2011’, Padmavathy experienced the shock of her life when her husband aged about 50 years died in a fatal accident while he was driving back home in his car after attending a function. God would have been so cruel, but he was not, because her daughter who was traveling in the same car escaped the accident with minor injuries.
Our team members shocked and speechless did not know how to support and console Padmavathy. She was hospitalized and had to face unknown business issues of her husband. While all the team members were worried how she will come out of the most tragic incident of her life, she joined back in SAKSHAM team after a break of a month. For about a week she struggled to come out of the shock. Padmavathy has too young daughters aged twenty three and twenty two.
But ultimately she accepted the fate and believed in her strengths. She remembered that she is an inspiration to many community members and has to practice what she preaches. Though she is still fighting a few property issues, she is continuing to do what she is so good at i.e., making ordinary people into great leaders.
Dear Padmavathy you are an inspiration to all our team members because we witnessed what you have gone through and how you have come out of it.Thanks for permitting me to share your story, hope it will inspire many more to believe in their strengths and move on with the challenges that come in their way.