Humans Care – Mallikarjun’s story
Mallikarjun lives in Andhra Pradesh in India, he cares for his wife who lost her sight in adulthood. Their sons are grown up and recently left home, leaving Mallikarjun to provide the 24 hour assistance his wife needs. Missing his sons and unable to work, he often felt isolated and worried about the future, but hearing about a new carers’ group in his village gave Mallikarjun fresh hope.
After joining the Yerragudi carers’ group, Mallikarjun drew renewed strength from talking to other carers about some of the challenges he faced in caring for his wife. He learned about government schemes that could provide financial support and explored the emotional and financial strain that he was feeling.
As his confidence grew, so did his belief that he could help other carers in similar situations. With a renewed focus and greater knowledge about his rights, Mallikarjun realised that he wanted to be part of the growing movement that would not only help his situation but potentially hundreds if not thousands of others.
In June 2017, the Thrinethra Carers Association was registered as an independent organisation in Andhra Pradesh and Mallikarjun became one of its carer representatives.
The association brings together representatives from carers’ groups across the area and is dedicated to providing them with a voice. Carers receive training to build their capacity as community leaders and ensure the sustainability of the organisation. Together they seek solutions to challenges and work collectively to promote health, livelihoods, respite and poverty alleviation initiatives.
Recently, Mallikarjun and the Association President Thufanraju spoke at a Carers Worldwide event in Bangalore, bringing the issue of carers to policymakers, practitioners and academics for the first time in India.
We are proud to support Mallikarjun and all the Carers Association members as they continue to take ground-breaking steps towards creating systemic change for all carers across India.
Our #HumansCare feature aims to raise awareness of family carers in developing countries, people like Mallikarjun and Thufanraju who are building a community of carers who can collectively call for change.
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“Before the carers’ movement began, we had no hope. Now we are making progress and finding solutions to our problems.”
Mallikarjun – Thrinethra Carers Association