GAYA, India — Sister Roselyn Karakattu of Gaya Nazareth Academy has sparked a transformation in Gaya, touching the lives of hundreds through her social outreach program. The three main initiatives of the program, offering support to incarcerated women, providing skill training to economically disadvantaged women, and remedial education for underprivileged children, stand as testimony to her indomitable spirit.
Empathy Behind Bars
In the solemn confines of Central Jail, Gaya, women often face isolation and despair. Sister Roselyn’s weekly visits from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have brought hope. Offering tailoring lessons to 15 inmates, these women are now empowered to stitch their clothes and even baby garments. The significance of these efforts was profoundly evident during International Women’s Day. Over 200 inmates celebrated with games, cultural activities, and deep conversations about the day’s meaning.
The tale of Mrs. Sharda Gupta’s release from jail and her subsequent rehabilitation stands out. After a long incarceration of 12 years, Sharda was released and reintegrated into society. Thanks to the intervention, Sharda is now self-reliant, using a sewing machine for income and with her son employed, symbolizing a fresh start.
Uplifting the Economically Disadvantaged
Skills training, particularly in tailoring, has been a cornerstone of the outreach. With two six-month courses in 2022-2023, 34 women have been armed with a vocation. March 21, 2023, saw 25 graduates proudly displaying their skills and highlighting the societal challenges women face, particularly the denial of education.
A Ray of Hope: Remedial Education
Nazareth Academy’s remedial centers, both at its premises and in the remote village of Kazichak, are bustling with enthusiasm. Over 200 children from underprivileged backgrounds get a chance to supplement their often-lacking government school education. The emphasis isn’t just on academics but on holistic development, from teaching human values to instilling patriotism.
A highlight of the program was when children from the remedial center were invited by the Principal of Nazareth Academy to present the significance of the national flag during the Independence Day celebrations.
An educational tour-cum-picnic at the Eco-park Botanical Garden opened up a world of bio-diversity for these children, as they learned about various flora while also enjoying a day full of fun.
Kazichak’s Little Miracles
Kazichak Remedial Centre, with its unique grassroots origins, stands as a testament to community involvement. A once broken and abandoned facility transformed into a thriving educational hub through combined efforts from donors, parents, and children. Abhishek Gupta, the center’s teacher, has been instrumental in ensuring the children not only attend but also shine in their academic pursuits.
Empowering Women and Young Girls
The empowerment journey in Kazichak doesn’t end with children. Women’s groups have been formed, focusing on income-generating activities. A special ‘Kishori group’ for young women who completed tailoring classes further enhances the cycle of empowerment.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’s work has not just been about individual interventions but sowing the seeds of systemic change. The Sisters’ efforts, aided by the larger community and supporters, have started a ripple effect that promises to touch many more lives in the coming years.