We at HOPE are both inspired and heartbroken at what our colleagues in Kolkata are dealing with during a devastating time. We wanted to share the stories of these inspirational heroes with you all, we think it shows the incredible people on the ground in Kolkata working tirelessly thanks to your donations. Our HOPE Heroes series will share thoughts and stories from our extraordinary colleagues.
Meet Soma, our first but not our only hero! It is because of people like Soma that those of us in Ireland, the UK and USA will never give up trying to help them even in our own challenging times.
How long have you worked for HOPE?
Soma: I have worked for HOPE for 2 years & 4 months
How did you know you wanted to work in social care?
Soma: When I was working with Medica super specialty hospital and very often I used to see many patients without proper treatment losing their life. Many patients were not getting admitted because of their poor financial conditions. There is always a big queue in every government hospitals for which many of the patients and family members were not offered medical consultation for better treatment and used to get return back. I was desperate to do something for them. Few years ago when my father was diagnosed as a cancer patient that time only I came to know about that with socio economic department this job can be done. That was the moment when I decided to work as a social worker.
Are you from Kolkata?
Soma: Yes, Kolkata is my home.
How does it feel to see such suffering in your home city?
Soma: Kolkata is a city of joy, city of fun. When the city become spellbound, when people of the city get scared to see other people, when joy turns into cry, it hurts. And all of a sudden the known city becomes unknown. This makes me sad.
How has working on the HOPE Emergency Response made you feel?
Soma: Since last 3 months I’ve been to many places (like Rupmari, Kumirmari, Kultali, Sulkuni, Tangramari) distributing relief to people in the areas affected by Amphan & COVID-19. I have got loads of affection, respect and blessings from each and every individual. It is feeling amazing to work for them.
Has Cyclone Amphan and Covid-19 affected you or your family?
Soma: Yes, during this lockdown period we passed though a very bad time where my husband did not get his proper salary which is actually remain till now.
What do your family think of the work you are doing?
Soma: I am a hero to my family. They really look up to my job role.
Do you have a message for the people who want to know how to help?
Soma: Pay attention to the people around you and what you can do to make their lives a little easier. An act of kindness, any simple gesture can improve someone’s day. There are many easy ways to help needy people