Lakkapatla Pushpa was born the eldest in a family of five sisters. When her parents died early, she decided not to get married and took upon herself the responsibility of looking after her sisters. As fate would have it, Pushpa’s youngest sister gave birth to a physically challenged girl whom she could not bring up because of financial constraints.
Pushpa herself wasn’t doing very well — she was toiling all day in the cotton field in Bellampalli, Telangana, to fill her stomach. However, that did not stop her from taking in her niece Ramya when she was six years old. Since that day, Pushpa has been looking after her with a lot of care, but living in a thatched house makes the already difficult job of bringing up a physically challenged child hazardous.
Though Telangana government provides houses to families living in poverty, Pushpa and her niece Ramya don’t come under the definition of ‘family’ under those schemes as Pushpa is unmarried. In an interview with The News Minute, she said,
I have applied twice to the government for the sanction of the house, but they said that I need to have a family to avail it. But, how can I have a family, when I didn’t get married?
Things changed for Pushpa and Ramya when Ramesh Renikunta, a man working with LIC, came into the picture. Through his Facebook account, Ramesh had helped more than 1,000 people. After hearing of Pushpa’s plight, he put up a Facebook post expressing his wish to construct a pucca house with an attached bathroom for her. He was overwhelmed to see people from all over the world come forward to help Pushpa. According to Topyaps, Ramesh said,
There are many Non Resident Indians (NRIs) who are helping me in this mission.
NRIs came forward probably wanting to give back to the society. The house was constructed in a matter of five weeks at a cost of Rs 1.10 lakh. Pushpa and Ramya are now grateful to the strangers who came forward not just to give them a roof over their head but also proper electricity and a compound wall.