This widowed mother of five doctors battled poverty for years


Haripad: It is said adversity brings out the best in us. How a Kerala woman overcame life's odds should be a lesson for those who give up when faced with even minor setbacks.

When her husband Likhayat died suddenly of heart attack, Jasmine was left with five young daughters and lots of debt.

Years later, the woman from Haripad in Alappuzha district stands a proud mother who was able to put all her children through medical college.

It was her determination to fight her way through in life that helped her children get dignified profession in society.

After leading an expatriate's life, Likhayat had returned home and set up an ice plant. However, all he could earn was debt of lakhs of rupees before succumbing to heart attack.

On that fateful day, Likhayat, suffering from chest pain, was rushed to a hospital but there were no cardiologists available to attend to him. That day Jasmine decided "At least one of my children should become a doctor."

This was a strong vow taken by a woman whose life was slowly sinking into abject poverty.

At the time of her husband's death, their firstborn Siyana was studying in class 9, Jesna in class 2 and Shasna in class 1. The younger children Zulfikar was a toddler of two years and Akbar Ali was a one-year-old.

Jasmine, who neither had a job nor any means of income, was left to wander the streets in search of help. She also knocked on the doors of mosques and houses for aid. The life wrought in misery once even forced her to think of taking the extreme step.

However, her resolute mind fought back and she was determined to give good education to her children.

She put up the children at an orphanage and began to work hard to make money.

Her hardwork began to pay off when her eldest daughter got admission for MBBS at the Kottayam Medical College.

She was able to complete her studies with the help of voluntary organisations and alumni body of medical students. Her triumph gave the much-needed impetus to the other siblings, who too started putting lot of effort into their studies. There were also Good Samaritans who saw them through these difficult times.

Siyana is now pursuing her higher studies at Madras Mission Hospital. Jesna is a final-year MBBS student at Travancore Medical College Hospital in Kollam.

Shasna is pursuing her house surgency after completing BDS. Zulfikar is a first-year MBBS student at Azeezia Medical College in Kollam, while Akbar Ali is a second- year BDS student at Srinivas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre at Mangaluru.

However, their climb to success saw more obstacles. Zulfikar was in an unconscious state for nearly a year after falling off a train, while he was on his way to get verification for Siyana's higher studies.

Jasmine's never-say-die attitude and efforts are what brought him back to life. The woman, who wanted at least one of her children to be a doctor, will be the mother of five doctors once all of them complete their studies.

A determined Jasmine says she doesn't fear the world as long as there are Good Samaritans.

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