“Take this candy. You look like my daughter”, said 78 years old, Putali Tamang looking at Aythos staff member Shanti Regmi. She had tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. Shanti said, “calling me her daughter made me feel so special, reminding me of both of my grannies who I don’t get to see very often.”
Putali Tamang is a mother of 5 daughters and lost her husband 11 years ago. Her once crowded and noisy home is empty since her daughters are married and moved away. Now she lives alone with limited ability as her age progresses. Her daily life is an emotional struggle having no one to help her with daily tasks and fewer and fewer friends her age around her.
When Aythos came to her village to teach soap and incense making, the goal was to help women gain skills to earn extra incomes for themselves and their families. Putali had a different goal in mind. Living in a rural area in an empty house, she had little to do but think all day about her once lively home and fulfilling marriage. She saw the training as a way to find some fulfillment in her life, a distraction from the constant overbearing, negative thoughts intruding into her mind.
Rural villages like Putali’s are slowly emptying each year as it becomes more common for adult children to leave their home village for the cities, and often to work abroad to make more money. The old traditions are dying and Putali consoles herself seeing more and more parents in empty homes feeling the same way.
We are happy that people like Putali can find some fulfillment in an Aythos training, even outside of our original purpose. Aythos often discusses the issues for mothers raising their children by themselves while husbands work abroad, or married couples working in two different countries and being separated for years at a time. But it’s also important to acknowledge how these changing traditions affect the aging parents left behind by a society that requires more income than the local economy can produce. Aythos is working to increase incomes for rural communities which offers more choices for families to avoid separation.
Your donations to Aythos help to alleviate the challenges experienced by people like Putali. Aythos, Inc. is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) organization and a registered nonprofit corporation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Your donations to Aythos, Inc. are tax-deductible.