From Studying In An Orphanage To Managing One, My Journey As A Nurturer

From growing up in an orphanage, getting married as a teen to leaving her abusive husband, Saraswathi faced hardships, and now runs an orphanage, nurturing young girls

Apta Ramesh
New Update
village square sarawasthi

After growing up in an orphanage for the sake of schooling, Saraswathi of Ravogodlu village in Ramanagara district of Karnataka walked out of an abusive marriage. She talks about forging her own path and nurturing young girls in an orphanage she runs – in her own words. 

I lived in the quaint village of Ravogodlu, in Kanakpura taluk of Ramanagara district with my family consisting of my parents and four siblings. 

We operated a small eatery.


From studying in an orphanage to managing one

My journey began at the tender age of five when Guruji Ram, an adoptive figure, promised my parents education and growth for me. 

So I spent a decade at his orphanage. It shaped my identity.

However, my parents needed assistance at the eatery and I had to return. 

When I was 17, guided by traditions and aspirations, I got married. Stepping into the roles of wife and mother, I welcomed two sons before I turned 20.

My life was marred by hardships, and physical and emotional abuse, as my husband’s struggles with alcoholism and extramarital affairs cast a shadow over our relationship. 


In the face of challenging financial circumstances, I relied on provisions from my parents and government ration. I shouldered the responsibility of managing the household’s finances. 

As our financial woes deepened, the silkworm cultivation I took up became a lifeline. I’d learned it from my father. 

From this work, I earned a modest sum of Rs 3,000 to 4,000. With his addiction, my husband often diverted these earnings towards his vice. 

When I was falsely accused of infidelity, and when my children and I were subjected to relentless physical abuse, I had to make the difficult decision of breaking free of my marriage.

Two decades have passed and I haven’t crossed paths with him again. 

After leaving my husband, I’ve channelled my energy into shaping a better future. 

I have dedicated my life to nurturing my sons, getting them educated and paving the way for them to become adventurous trainers.

Meanwhile, with determination, I pursued my own dreams and completed a diploma in theatre. I also visited Japan with a scholarship and underwent rigorous training in food processing techniques.


Village Sqaure

At present, I oversee an orphanage, where I provide guidance and care to girls as young as five years old. 

As they grow up within the orphanage, I have dedicated myself to nurturing their development, fostering their educational pursuits, facilitating their growth journey and moulding them into independent individuals.

My advice to the young girls is to embrace their strength and seize every opportunity that comes their way. Life presents a mix of favourable and challenging circumstances, but we must be willing to learn from every experience.

Reporting and photography by Apta Ramesh, a former television show producer, and presently a freelance journalist. This story is part of a series in collaboration with Village Square to highlight inspiring stories around the International Day of Girl Child on October 11.

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