Agni Raksha believes that a life devastated by fire is not the end, but the start of a new beginning. Agni Raksha provides a holistic rehabilitation process for burn victims from poor families, especially women and children. This includes comprehensive medical treatment and opportunities for income generation.

EVERY LIFE MATTERS...

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Case Studies

 

 

Every woman who comes to Agni Raksha leads a dignified life and grows professionally too”. Says…Sumiya.  

 

             When I was in 9th standard, I had failed in Kannada and I was told by my teacher that I could apply for re-exams and pass the same so that I could join 10th standard. I had a very close friend Anglin too had failed in Mathematics. So we decided that we will accompany each other during our exams.  

 

              By the time I got back home, my father got to know about my results. My father got very angry seeing me come back with Anglin and her mother. He came running and started beating me. He insulted me and used very abusive language in the presence of the neighbours. We were living in Government quarters at Murphy town. When this incident took place my relatives had come home. I felt very insulted since I was beaten up in their presence. The thought of committing suicide kept coming into my mind. In anger, I opened the traditional oil lamp and doused kerosene and lit myself on fire. I was not able to remember how I lit myself on fire. I was very scared and confused about how I took such a decision. Since I could not tolerate the burning, I rushed to the toilet and poured water on myself. When I got burnt my younger sister and her friend were busy studying and this incident was witnessed by my sister’s friend and since then she has not visited me.    

            One of my neighbours came to my rescue and covered me with a blanket. There were no autos that came then my brother’s friends helped us fetching an auto and took me to Victoria hospital. My father’s first wife visited me at the hospital and she could not face me as she was very guilty for whatever happened and then she consoled me.    

            After I got burnt, my father started to consume alcohol. They shifted me from Victoria hospital to Amarjyothi Hospital, Indiranagar. My brother spoke to the area counsellor Fayaz, who in turn spoke to the doctors and shifted me to St.Johns Hospital for further treatment. None of the family members visited me and if at all they visited me, they would fall ill.   

            There were a lot of people who were scared looking at me and would run away. The neighbours used to threaten their children stating they would take them to me if they denied eating their meals. Once when I saw myself in the mirror I too was horrified. For about 8 months I had not come out of home. Only when there used to be power cut I used to come out.      

            One day I realized why is that I am caught up in work at home and why not look out for a job and lead an independent life. That’s when I came to know that the local MLA, Alexander was looking for a cook. Since the doctor had asked me not to come in contact with sunlight, I thought it would be better to take up the cooking job. When I visited the MLA’s house they immediately offered the job to me. His wife trained me on how to cook their food and the quantity that I had to follow. There I worked for three years until noon and get back home and cook at my home. When I got my firs salary, I purchased a gold chain for myself.   

I was inspired by the panipoori business that my aunt was into and the profit she was making. I too wanted to start the same initiative, so I went along with my aunt and bought all the ingredients from Shivajinagar and started my own panipoori shop. My sister used to cut onion, father used to purchase things. Even though I invested only Rs.500/- , I earned a profit of Rs.2000/-. Later my brother’s used to eat and did not pay. Then the business went into a huge loss. I hence decided to work in Alexander’s house the full day. The MLA wanted somebody to take care of his kids so, I used to work as a cook and child care.   

In December 2004, Chitra ma’am came for a survey to my area. She visited my home with her colleague Vijiya. My sister-in-law introduced me to the team. Later I called Chitra madam seeking for her help. One day Vijaya one of the staff and Chitra madam visited my house and I was offered a job at Agni Raksha and I was asked to work for 15 days in a month. Initially I was given the role of identify victims. After visiting the victims I used to call the office and they would reimburse my phone charges. I used to visit office once in 10 or 15 days, the office was located in J.P.Nagar. I would then produce the reports and hand it over to madam.    

The organisation had booked a bus in which we had to take the patients to meet Dr.Prema. That is the first time I met Dr.Prema and when I heard about her story I was really inspired in life and I immediately decided to quit the job at the MLA’s house and take up Agni Raksha’s job on a full time basis. That’s when the office shifted from J.P.Nagar to Double Road. Chitra ma’am always encouraged me. Every time I felt like leaving the job, Chitra ma’am would identify my talents, skills and highlight the skills in me. That would change my thought and I would change my mind of quitting my job. My job was to conduct survey, identify the burn victims and get them for OPD. Later formed SHG groups and encourage savings, husband’s meeting, and visit to police station, youth meeting, and visiting schools.   

The visit to my school is one of the most unforgettable incidents as my teachers were very proud of me visiting them and conducting a session on suicide and fire accidents.   

            Once I felt that the work was too much so told madam that I would leave the job that’s when she decided to give me the role of only dressing. I am able to handle any kind of patients whenever there are fresh cases, both Dr.Mahesh and Dr.Prema would ask me to conduct dressing. People who are educated too did not get an opportunity to travel by Ambulance to attend to the patients but I am thankful that I have got this opportunity and I am able to visit about 9 to 10 patients. Whatever may be the health condition of the patients, I am able to manage the dressing and cleaning their wounds. I have cleaned wounds which have developed worms too. I want to serve them as it is service to god.   

I never used to talk to anyone about anything at home, but today members of the family make me sit and consult me in decision making. People who were scared of me and children who used to run away from me are dearer to me today.    

 

            I never thought that my life would change like this, as I had thought my family and panipoori business was only end of my life. I have been working here since 2005 since then I have been able to change myself a lot and learn from every experience. Madam has given me life and inspiration to lead a happy life. I thank god and Chitra madam for giving me this new life.        

My life has change it’s only because of Agni Raksha, if not for them I would have continued to work as a domestic help both outside and at home.  

 

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Our Programmes

OPD

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Counselling

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Surgeries

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Safe Haven - Post Acute Care

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Home Based Care

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Awareness

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Physiotherapy

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Skills Development & Self Help Groups

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