My name is Madhabi Bariha. I am from Napra district in Odisha. I live with my parents and four siblings of whom I am the eldest. I completed class 10 but then I had to abandon high school due to troubles at home. My father is a farmer. He grows mustard, wheat and peanuts. My mother helps him out at the farm. My father is the adventurous one. When I heard about the training program, she did not want me to go because it was far away. Mothers are like that, very cautious when it comes to their kids. But my father and I hatched a plan when she went out of the village for a few days. His brother, my uncle accompanied me to Bhubaneswar and enrolled me into the caregiver training program. It is such a fond memory.
Madhabi Bariha is 21 years old. A cheerful, conscientious individual, she works for Life Circle in Hyderabad as a Professional Caregiver to bedridden and sick elderly. She came to us from the Bhubaneswar centre of Shriram New Horizons, a training institute that trains young rural Indians in a variety of skills including caring for elderly individuals in their homes and assisting them with a variety of tasks from Activities of Daily Living to managing feeding tubes and catheters. Madhabi chose to become a caregiver out of a love for learning new things and an inclination to care for people. At Life Circle, she has had the opportunity to put those skills to good use.
Madhabi calls home every week and while her family misses her, they are supportive and quite happy with the work she does. Like all parents of young adults working away from home, they constantly worry about her well being. We try to put these worries at bay by assessing not only the suitability of a Caregiver’s skills to the patient’s condition, but also the safety and the comfort of the Caregiver in the patient’s home. For caregivers who work in shifts, like Madhabi did with one of her patients, we facilitate safe and comfortable hostels located at a convenient distance from their place of work.
After I came to Hyderabad, my life has changed so much. At first, I was a little lonely, but now I like my independence. Coming to Hyderabad was also my first foot out of my village. Earlier my life was just school from home and back, I never went anywhere else. Now I live and work independently away from home. This is a big achievement for me. My family is poor which makes my job a great source of support for them. When I went home for a vacation a while ago, my father was drawing a comparison with my brother. He said to him, “Your sister lives far away and she still contributes to the family”.
Life Circle has also benefited from having a caregiver with a positive attitude among its ranks. In this interview Madhabi mentioned that among all her postings, she liked caring for a bedridden patient best. She described how managing the patient’s Ryle’s tube required close concentration to ensure that the food was the right consistency and that no bubbles entered the tube. We recognised her attention to detail and her service with an award at our Annual Caregiver Award Function in February.