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Blind Woman Helps To Manage Business

Latha’s mother, Abehami, is 75 and a widow. She helps with the chili grinding collective although she is blind and needs treatment for cataracts on both eyes. She opens up the room in her home where the equipment is housed and secures it in the evening, locking windows and covering up the chili grinding machine.

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She does not want to spend the money for cataract surgery because she feels that she will not live long. The medical care is actually free through the government’s socialized medical system. However, there would be some fees, transportation, food and housing costs of perhaps $250. She would have to travel to the capital city of Colombo or Kandy for the operation. This could be a 15 to 20 hour journey by bus and Abehami has never been far from her village. She seems content with her small contribution to the chili collective and she receives a small portion of the profits. 

Deva Ratnakara