Monica Kondagorri, 25 years
Praeen Kumar Kondagorri, 7 years, son
Bency Kondagorri, 3 years, daughter
Andhra Pradesh Region
At 17 years old, Mounika was told by her parents that she would be forced to marry a man she scarcely knew. This type of arranged marriage is common in this area of Andhra Pradesh. Fortunately for Mounika, her husband-to-be turned out to be a hard-working young man from a background much like her own.
The couple quickly started a family. Their son Praveen was born when Mounika was 18, and a daughter, Bency, arrived a few years later. But despite their happiness as parents, life was challenging. The couple lived in a tiny shack on a wasteland; an area owned by no one and inhabited by the poorest citizens. Both suffered from health issues common to these impoverished areas.
When the COVID-19 epidemic started, Mounika’s son was forced to stay home from school. At home with a toddler and young child she could not earn any income. Her husband worked harder and harder to support the family through this time. He worked through his own worsening health, putting aside his own well-being to support his family. Then, three months ago, Mounika’s husband died.
Mounika is now a 25-year old widow, with two children at home, no income, and her own health worries as she suffers from tuberculosis. She is in a desperate situation. She is ready to do any work that allows her to support her children. With the support of a sponsor, she could purchase some chicken or goats to rear on the land next to her home. She is a strong and capable woman, and would make the most of any opportunity.