Laventure: Aarti, A Woman With Great Courage – “Personne ne nous rend visite.”

Life did not make her any present. But Aarti, who lives with her elderly mother, is a fighter despite her disability. Here is the poignant story of Aarti, a small woman.

Aarti knows how to cook despite her disability.

Aarti knows how to cook despite her disability.

Aarti, the last child in a family of six children, did not have a childhood like others because of her disability. 44 years old, she lives alone with her mother in the village of Laventure (East). The two men who were with them are no longer of this world.

“Mon père est décédé, il y a une vingtaine d’années. Mon frère, qui prenait soin de ma mère et de moi, est lui aussi décédé, il y a deux mois,” says Aarti. She explains that her brother fell into despair and sought refuge in alcohol after the death of his diabetic wife about two years ago.

Since the disappearance of the brother, Aarti and her mother were left on their own. Aarti’s life is a battle of every moment because she has to move with a walker. “Je peux cuisiner, passer un coup de balai dans la maison. Je peux aussi faire la lessive et ma mère m’aide pour le séchage,” she says.

The special kitchen of Aarti.

The special kitchen of Aarti.

Despite her resourcefulness, it’s hard for her to perform certain tasks. She relies on her mother who, despite her advanced age, has never stopped taking care of her daughter. It is her who goes shopping at the supermarket or Flacq market. “Malheureusement, il y a des chauffeurs de bus qui refusent de s’arrêter, quand ils la voient à l’arrêt d’autobus,” laments her daughter.

Aarti’s mother is slightly hard at hearing and converse in Bhojpuri. In her youth, she worked alongside her husband in a leased sugarcane field.

The sadness in her eyes and the tone of her voice revealed that Aarti suffers from loneliness. “Personne ne nous rend visite. Personne ne vient prendre des nouvelles de notre santé ou nous demander si nous avons besoin de quelque chose. Ma mère fait son possible, mais quand nous avons besoin d’un coup de main, nous faisons appel à quelqu’un contre une modeste rémunération,” she says. Aarti adds that there is a young man who will happily fetch the gas cylinder for them for free.

Are social associations of the village aware of the situation of the two women? “Il ne semble pas y avoir de fraternité à Laventure. Du moins, je n’en ai pas été témoin. Je dois dire que ma mère n’appartient à aucune association. Donc, nous sommes esseulées,” replies Aarti.

And the authorities? Are the Social Security or the Ministry of Health concerned about their welfare? “Non, pas vraiment. Il y a quelqu’un de la Santé qui passe une fois par an,” she said. And sisters? “Elles viennent nous voir pour le Nouvel An. Elles ne viennent pas régulièrement,” she says.

Lack of resources and help to go out, Aarti spends all day in her small house in a bedroom or a kitchen. “Quand mon père était encore vivant, il m’emmenait en taxi faire des visites. Mais depuis qu’il n’est plus là, nous n’avons personne pour nous sortir. Et puis, nous n’avons pas les moyens pour payer un taxi,” she argues.

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