Poornima Shaw may be poor but is rich in her endeavour of saving lives of many by donating blood
Watching Poornima Shaw,a woman in her 30s managing a government parking lot in front of Ram Krishna Mission Hospital in Kolkata,generates the curiosity to know her story.
The resident of Kasba,who has been managing the parking lot for the last 13 years,had lost her husband,Ajay Shaw,in a motorbike accident in 1999. I had no idea what to do and how to fend for myself and my two daughters. For about a year I was hesitant of stepping out of the house to earn but then I had no other choice to deal with the severe financial crunch. My husband used to work here. Later,with the help of the local people and some KMC officials,I took over the parking lot here, she says.
But her story doesnt end here. In fact,it begins from here.
Working at the parking lot outside the hospital made her realise one day that despite living in a state of penury,she could be of help to many families who try all their bid to save their ailing near and dear ones from dying. While managing the vehicles here I have seen people suffering day in and day out. I used to think I have had a lot of problems in life but after coming here I have found out that I am far better off than those who were on the brink of losing their beloved ones, she says.
Molly,as she is popularly known,organised a group of like-minded women of the locality and started donating blood to government hospitals regularly,and use the blood credit cards to help people who came looking for blood. Many helped me set up this parking lot and now I feel that it is my moral duty to donate blood and help a life survive because I cannot help others in any other way. I used to donate blood every six months but I had developed weakness after which I can donate blood only once a year,and when I am feeling ok,I revert to my twice a year habit, she says.
Amidst everything,she has managed to see to it that her daughters get good education. The elder one is studying in second year with Geography (Honours) in Jogomaya College,while the younger is a Class VII student at Kamala Chatterjee Girls High School. I have never asked for help to anyone and I would like my daughters to stand on their own feet and for that education is of utmost necessary, Molly says.
She works from 9 am to 10 pm everyday and keeps Sundays off for these socially-relevant works. The parking lot has helped her in earning a livelihood for the family.