19-year-old Ritika, lives in Bhoomiheen camp Kalkaji. Her father, a daily wage laborer, developed severe health issues because of which he couldn’t continue his work. Soon after, the family went into deep financial distress. Ritika was young and a bright student at school. However, given the financial condition at home, her mother began working as a small-time helper to earn money. This meant that Ritika had to take over all the household work and even support her mother in taking care of her younger sibling, as a result of which her studies took a back seat. While she was sad about the impact all of this had on her aspirations, she understood that her mother had to focus on her work to earn a living for the family, and day by day, it wasn’t easy to survive on her little income.

Ritika wanted to contribute in her own capacity and do something to break this shackle of poverty. Though she was interested in pursuing journalism or hotel management, her financial condition was such that she could not afford either of the courses. Her dreams came shattering in front of her eyes. She was reconciled to a life of poverty until her friend brought her to Lighthouse Communities Foundation.

She was amazed to walk into a welcoming and warm atmosphere equipped with computers, books, and someone to guide her in achieving her goals. She immediately joined the Foundation Course, and this is where she realized that she wanted to be a Nurse. Having completed the Foundation course, she underwent counselling, where she learnt more about the course as well as its career prospects.

She started her course in early June 2022, and with her dedication and hard work, she was given an opportunity to intern at Irene Hospital with a monthly stipend of INR 7,000. Elated at the thought of her first stipend, she went on to say, “This amount will not only support the family, but I hope one day my mother won’t have to do odd jobs to make ends meet. Lighthouse has completely transformed my life. I was clueless and hopeless a few months back, but today I have regained my confidence and have a clear vision of my life,” signed off Ritika, turning back to her patient.

Moreover, she feels that her training in Nursing has made her a sensitive and better human being. The attitude of her family and the community has also changed, and she is treated with dignity and respect.

She will be completing her course in the next three months, hoping to get a full-time job in one of the leading hospitals in Delhi. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.