Sokina Begum, 49, lives in Shandarpara, Tongi. Being the fifth of seven children, her family could not afford to send her to school. Predictably, when Sokina turned 20, she was married off and subsequently had two children.
Sokina tragically lost her husband to COVID-19. In May 2021. Recalling the devastating loss, she said, “The life we had built in the last 20 years, fell apart in an instant.”
The first few months of grief were the most difficult. Her emotional, vulnerable state led to frequent quarrels with the family and soon, she withdrew into a shell altogether.
It was then that SAJIDA’s caseworkers came across Sokina and introduced her to the SHOJON tele-counselling service where she received regular mental health support. At first, she was relieved to have a sympathetic, attentive ear, but she soon saw the gradual change within herself. She became more aware and put in a great deal of self-work to improve her situation. She shifted focus back on her children and attended the wellbeing meetings conducted by SAJIDA Foundation, which helped her become a more effective communicator and eventually get her life back on track.
Soon Sokina got into a new routine: she went for daily morning walks and started to eat healthier. Today, she has much better control over her emotions and has even started interacting with others in a social setting.