A pus infection at the back of her waist had paralysed Swarna when she was in Class III. The periodic visits to the local doctor, the painful pricking of pins, and the constant oozing of pus had taken it’s toll as her legs had turned numb, said her brother Baldev, hours after her death.
“When she was young, her father used to carry her for five kilometres on his shoulder to a local beauty salon. There, Swarna would stand on a temporary structure, and learn the tricks of the trade despite constant pain,” he remembered.
As the cries of several women outside Swarna’s house on Tuesday afternoon broke Baldev’s reverie, he continued, “She had taught every single child in this locality. Everyone grew up and went places, while she stayed locked inside the house.”
Swarna had to drop out of school after her legs started to develop infections. Her relatives said that initially she was able to walk using someone’s support. But eventually, her condition started deteriorating and she could not move anymore. “She had enrolled into the beauty parlour course when she used to stay in Jagatpuri. Swarna knew that her life would revolve around the house so she decided to teach every woman in the locality the art of make up and stitching. She also started teaching primary school children,” said Samitri Devi, Swarna’s aunt.
Swarna, who had been living on the ground floor of the five-story house, used to find it difficult to cook food. Earlier, her students used to help her out by lighting the gas or making her a cup of coffee, and an evening snack, her relatives and locals said. But after her mother died a few years ago, and her students grew up, Swarna was left alone.