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Formative Years

A STORY OF CHALLENGES AND ADVERSITIES TRANSLATED TO OPPORTUNITIES TO EVOLVE AS A GOOD HUMAN


Vyjayanthi – the Beacon for Seva & the Indomitable Spirit - is known to many through her selfless seva in the social development space for the last 15 years. What is mystifying and inspiring is that the challenges and adversities she experienced in her childhood, formative and foundation years and even in subsequent life, did not deter her from evolving into the wonderful woman that we all know today, nor did it induce even an iota of bitterness.

Born in 1962, Vyjayanthi or Vyju had very humble beginnings in the government quarters at Delhi. She was fondly called “ASHA” in the family and she lived up to and personified that name being the ever ready “HOPE” for any and every family member including the extended family members. “Charity/Seva Begins at Home” was her second nature.


Providence first challenge to her was at the age of 10 when the over-arch of her parents was taken away and she had a baby brother in her lap. The family moved to Bengaluru and after that began her journey of fortitude and resolve. It is impossible to pen down all the adversities and challenges that life presented to her at that tender age especially as a young girl. She took on and overcame all challenges of frequent dislocation, change of homes, change of guardians, new social and educational environment, the emotional and physiological sine curves, financial constraints and all that is associated with it. To top it all, she took on the responsibility of her baby brother.


In 1981 when she moved into her aunt’s place, she found solace in her aunt Saraswathi. She always recollected fondly the small and simple happenings of bonding that they shared which gave her immense happiness.


The biggest game changer that gave her happiness and propelled her in fulfilling her dream/desire to immerse and involve in SELFLESS SEVA was her wedding to her beloved “Pacha” (Mr Govind Prasad). In spite of being a fulltime working woman, the work-life-seva-family balance she maintained was immaculate and mind boggling. She was not found wanting in any of them. These also did not come easily and many unexpected and unknown challenges came her way and her family life, but the Juggernaut of responsibility, benevolence, sincerity, selflessness, concern for others chugged on seamlessly. Every member of the family or their friends and relatives have a story to relate. She truly was the Centre of Gravity and the Pillar that we as family, relatives and friends leaned on, and she always responded positively with no return expectations. Others attitude or behaviour towards her at any point in her life did not hinder or obstruct her from helping people.

She finally sacrificed her career and became a full time SEVAK to the needy in the last 12 – 15 years by taking voluntary retirement. She was truly contended and immensely happy doing that. She was a simple and caring woman, but very dexterous and versatile. In our discussions in the last few years, she would never once brag or tell what she had done but would highlight the multitude of challenges and difficulties people faced especially the underprivileged, needy, elders and children. She would always remark at the end as to how blessed we are!!!


Humour and laughter, she would find in small things, like a child. She once related as to how she felt embarrassed when someone addressed her as “Dr” during one of the events of Seva. In one of her WhatsApp conversations with a colleague who was a doctor, she was being continuously addressed as Dr. Vyjayanthi and after a few messages, she replied to that person that she is not a doctor and to her amusement, the other person also replied that he is Ph.D. doctor and not a medical doctor. Because of her involvement with many medical cases and her penchant for nursing all ailing family members and health tips to all of us, we used to tease her as our family quack, but fondly called her our “Florence Nightingale”. Every family member, relative and even friends will agree to that.

She was a simple and wonderful soul that God had sent with humungous responsibilities and she never disappointed God. She was my sister, mother, friend and more. I do feel orphaned with her departure to the heavenly abode but as she would say, we are blessed when I think of the many needy others who would feel more orphaned without her.

Last but not the least…..in Vyju’s own words which she would always repeat – “I sincerely thank from the bottom of my heart Mythri Speaks, YFS[1], DFS for providing me the platform, the opportunity and more importantly, confiding the trust in me to do noble work of seva which resulted in the last decade being the most cherished part of my life.”

MAY GOD GIVE “ASHA” TO US BY BLESSING THIS WORLD WITH MANY MORE VYJUS.

  1. [1] YFS refers to Youth for Seva; DFS refers to Doctors for Seva


- Col. Gokul Krishna (brother of Asha)


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