Made of deep devotion, endless sacrifice and pain, a mother’s love is not only selfless but also eternal. Nothing can destroy it or take it away.
As they say – Mother’s love is so powerful that it can move mountains for her kids. One such inspiring story is of Seema Verma, who refused to give up as she wanted to give her kid the best shot at life!
Before moving to Mumbai at age of eight, Seema lived in Kolkata. She was married at 17 to an alcoholic abusive husband, who abandoned her and her son within four years of their marriage. Just a year before her separation, Seema suffered a paralytic attack.
Forced to look after herself and her toddler, Seema had to take up odd jobs – including that of domestic help. While trying to create a better life for her son, Seema had to struggle a lot. There were days when she had to lock up her son at home so she could go to work.
It was one of the “memsahibs” who helped her take up running professionally. Knowing about her love for sports, the woman encouraged her to take up running to supplement her income.
Seema’s parents were not encouraging as they wanted her to focus on her job to raise her son. But the suggestion took root in her mind. And, soon she began to imagine a new life of dignity for Sagar and herself. A life in which she would be known for her talent and more importantly, she doesn’t have to do “ dirty work” that lacked respect.
After her first win, Seema knew there was no turning back. Under the given circumstances of lack of family support, it was difficult for Seema to get ready for the professional running. But she never gave up!
While recalling her struggling days, Seema shared:
“Each day began with a banana and a mixture of powdered grains including jowar, wheat, bajra, and spices that I make myself, followed by two hours of training. My workday starts after that, visiting several residences where I cook, clean and wash till 6 pm.”
Back home at 6.30 pm, Verma would then leave for Karate classes in Vasai and return at 9 pm to cook herself a simple meal and call it a day.
“I was earning around Rs 5,000 a month, of which Rs 2,500 would be kept aside for my son’s hostel fee. For extra money, I even worked as a courier at night for a few weeks, earning Rs 60 per delivery.”
But every effort felt worth it when Verma held her first cheque of Rs 10,000 – her first winnings – close to her chest. She kept holding it when she slept that night.
Now it has been eight years since Seema started her journey as a runner. It is quite inspiring how she has created a life of dignity for herself and her son. Fighting back her tears, she mentioned:
“It is a dream come true. Running has now given me a stable source of income. I want to kiss my feet over and over again,”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of Seema and many other single moms who are relentlessly fighting against their circumstances to create a better future for their kids. Society may not celebrate their courage but definitely, we won’t leave a chance.