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Salem: The widow sells her hair for Rs 150 to feed 3 children. Salem News

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SALEM: A 31-year-old woman, with a deep neck in debt left by her husband who committed suicide seven months ago, sold her hair to feed her children.

Last Friday, Prema, Selvam’s widow, had run out of the last penny she had. With three children, aged five, three and two, by his side in hunger, Prema approached all the people he knew looking for money. But none of his neighbors or relatives would be separated from cash on a Friday, an auspicious day.

It was then that a man passed through his street in Ponnamapet offering to buy hair to make wigs. Without thinking for a moment, Prema rushed into his hut, cut his hair and sold it for 150 rs with which he bought food for 100 rs. Then he went to a store and asked for a bottle of insecticide. The shopkeeper felt something bad and refused to sell it.

“Then he tried to consume poisonous arali seeds (nerium oleander). Fortunately, her sister prevented her from consuming it,’ said G Bala, a graphic designer who posted Prema’s plight on social media and eventually helped her crowd fund financial support.

Prema and her late husband Selvam worked as daily bets on a brick oven. Selvam wanted to start his own business and borrowed money from the melody of Rs 2.5 lakh. But he was deceived by the people and eventually the family slipped into deep hardship forcing him to commit suicide. Devastated by the death of her husband, harassed by those who lent money and saddened by the suffering of the children, she decided to end her life.

A week later, Prema is now a new woman. Thanks to Bala’s post, several good Samaritans offered help and she managed to collect Rs 1.45 lakh. On Thursday, Salem district administration also sanctioned her monthly widow’s pension. Bala’s friend Prabhu, who runs a brick oven, has also given her a job.

So she regained so much confidence that she asked Bala to delete her Facebook post for help for her. “I am very overwhelmed by the support of the people. I’ll never think about killing myself again. I want to give a good education to my children and get them out of this hardship,'” Prema says.

What changed it was not only the help that stopped, but also Bala’s advice, as they were not only a motivational speech of textbooks, but his own life experience surprisingly similar to Prema’s. When he was a child, Bala’s family was also in hardship and his mother once attempted suicide. “One day we never had money left for food. My mother sold all the old newspapers and with Rs 4 he got, bought rice and cooked it for us. Shortly after she tried to kill herself, but relatives saved her,'” Bala recalled.

‘I told Prema that if my mother had died that day She wouldn’t be here now to get her son’s car,’ Bala said.

Times of India

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