Sharmistha has a special way with children. After administering an injection to a pint-sized patient, she gently rubs the top of his head with her palm. She is like a mother to the young boys and girls receiving treatment in the pediatric center at our hospital.
Sharmistha studied at the School of Nursing before taking a placement at Mercy Hospital. It was important to her that she earned a living so that she could provide for her family. “I knew that if I became a nurse, I’d have great job prospects,” she told us. Now a nurse, Sharmistha can put aside some extra money for her family. “They do not ask for my help, but I give freely. I am able to help my parents with basic grocery expenses, and I am helping my little brother pay his way through engineering school,” she says proudly.
Women in the workplace is a modern development in India. While her father earns a meager teacher’s salary, her mother stays home as a housewife. Sharmistha explains, “Women in my mother’s generation did not have the same educational opportunities as they do now. They would study until the tenth grade, and then stay at home the rest of their lives. Now, as a nation, India is learning that there are better ways.”
Sharmistha is fixated on following what she believes is the “better way.” She desires to continue schooling and receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. “It is simple,” she notes, “for greater opportunities, I have to study more.” As for working with children, her passion is clear. “If it were up to me,” she reveals, her face melting with an expression of heartfelt joy, “I would work with children forever.”