Mary: From odds to oblivion and out

Mary, feeding a child at A.i.R Transit Home

Mary, 40, a kindhearted woman who helps and serves the young ones at A.i.R. Transit Home, had a rough past that has encouraged her to do what she does now. Born and raised in Bangalore, Mary had an unbearable time after marriage, in stark contrast to a wonderful childhood. Her marriage was a union brought about by love that she developed for a seemingly kind "gentle" man. Days rolled by, revealing that her husband wasn’t the kind, compassionate person she thought him to be.She was made to work as a domestic help at several places in her locality, while, as Mary recalls, her husband a painter by profession, and a belligerent alcoholic, remained drunk most of the time. His callous and abusive behavior made her feel insecure and suicidal. However, she tried to pull through it against all odds. Sadly, Mary's mother, who was living with her at the time, passed away, leaving Mary hapless and hopeless, with an abusive husband and a five-month-old child. Her husband during this time abandoned her and their newborn son. Mary later found out that he had flown the coop to marry another woman with whom he now has two kids.

Major depression seeped into her life, draining her mental health. Clinical depression is a state where a dull, lifeless mood pervades all the time; one loses interest in activities, even ones that are usually pleasurable. The symptoms of this type of depression also include trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless.The thoughts of death and suicide drove Mary into psychosis. The Bangalore City Police found her on the streets, oblivious, and scavenging

for food. She has no memory of herself being on the streets, abandoned and in rags. She does not remember being brought to our home or any of her therapy sessions. When asked about her son, tears rolled down her cheeks as she worriedly said that her baby boy would have now grown up to be a teen and that she does not know of his whereabouts.

The team at A.I.R. Charitable Home took Mary in for treatment where she gradually recovered. It wasn't easy. She underwent psychotherapy and was put on medication. The team had to counsel her regularly and instill in her, the will to live, as they often found her slipping back into depression. Including her as a part of the team seemed like a good idea in helping her understand that her life was just as important as anyone's. And so, she was motivated to assist in small chores at the home. After a year, the team moved her to A.I.R. Transit Home where she was eased into participating in everyday activities. Mary soon found peace and joy in assisting the children that were adopted to be a part of our family. This helped her look forward to making a difference. Mary says, "Being here and taking care of the children gives me the kind of satisfaction I'd never get even if I worked outside these walls." We're glad that the City Police found her and brought her to us. We were able to help Mary transform and find peace in her life.

This story is from one of many of our residents. We believe that serving humanity is prayer and our hope is that you see it too. Let us acknowledge and understand that even the quick minutes we spare on a phone call to report an emergency or seek help for someone could be the change of a lifetime for them.

In the last two decades, over 50,000 needy individuals have been provided with medical care, help and emotional support. We have organized medical procedures and surgeries for our residents and patients, provided prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs to the physically challenged, and treatment for the ailing including those suffering from life threatening diseases like AIDS and cancer. We have rehabilitated our patients, reunited many of them with their families, and by aiding them in their recoveries, empowered them to become independent enough to find employment. We have strived to ensure that each one of our residents is able to live a life of dignity.

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