CHENNAI: V Ahalya (17) breaks down at the mention of her father. For her, he is an afterthought since the day he brutally attacked his wife, her mother, Muniammal, and left her for dead at their house in Neyveli. She was a Class Two student then.
Ten years later, Ahalya has left her troubled past behind and has come out with flying colours, having secured 1,092 marks in her Class XII examinations. She now wants to study B.Com and go on to become a chartered accountant.
What has given her so much confidence? It’s the magnanimity of her uncle, D Ravi, a maistry, who took his sister and her two kids, including Ahalya, under his wings.
“If it wasn’t for my mama, we wouldn’t be alive,” Ahalya said, before breaking down on Ravi’s shoulder.
Ravi’s shoulders are broad as Muniammal’s is not the only family he looks after. His other sister too, after facing abuse from an alcoholic husband, lives separately and Ravi takes care of the education of her two kids as well. Ravi also has a family and two kids. Ask him how he manages, and he says, “They are all my family; I have six, not two kids.”
“What I learnt from my sisters’ plight was that they were not independent because they were not educated. I didn’t want that to happen to my nieces. So I will educate them as much as they want because if they face a similar situation, I will know they will stand tall,” he concludes.