Sarita is 20 years old and lives in a small village in the northern Indian state of Jharkhand with her father, younger sister and brother. Her mother died when she was 10 and her father has schizophrenia and cannot work, he is often unwell and sometimes violent.

Sarita is his only carer. She bears all the responsibilities of providing for the family on her young shoulders and worries for the future.

When our founder Anil met Sarita, she explained to him how she desperately wanted to complete her education and find a good job to support the family that she loves, but could not leave her father to go and attend her studies. She worried constantly about money and anxiety was damaging her own health.

Carers Worldwide and our partner NBJK encouraged Sarita to join the carers group that we had recently set up in her village. Here, she was able to meet with others facing similar situations to her own, discuss her problems and start to think of solutions. The carers have become Sarita’s friends and they meet regularly for mutual support and social connection.

Having a little time away from caring for her father has given Sarita the chance to plan for their future.

Until her father becomes more medically stable, Sarita still needs to stay close to home and find ways to earn a living in conjunction with her caring responsibilities. Through the carers group, she secured a small loan and received training on how to set up a home-based business.  With this support, Sarita now has a thriving small business stitching school uniforms. She has also set up a small tuition centre for 15 local children, which she runs in conjunction with her caring responsibilities.

Together these businesses bring in a steady income.  When her siblings come home from school in the evening, Sarita makes time to go to college for a few hours to continue her studies. She now feels like the future has more certainty. Her worries for her family have greatly reduced and she knows that things will continue to get better as her businesses become more stable.

Our livelihoods projects are critical to families like Sarita’s, subscribe to our e-news to keep up to date on our work.