Murari Prameela – India

Linked with Indian HIV & AIDS statistic.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

It is said about Murari Prameela: She is a dear carer to victims of HIV/AIDS and those abandoned by their families and friends in her native Guntur district, which has one of the highest percentages of HIV/Aids in India.

She says: “I do not believe in hearing a lot of lecture on love. It is our actions that matter”. And she said about a girl they cared: “We were not able to save her, but we took care of her, enabling her to live for another three years”.

She says also: “Not many people can afford medical care. The people who live on the streets do not have money or people to look after them”.

Murari Prameela - India redim 50p.jpg

Murari Prameela – India

She works for Women for the Mercy Integrated Rural Health Care Ministries (Sorry, link not found in the internet).

A nurse and multipurpose healthworker who leads a team of seven in her native Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, Murari Prameela is a friend and a carer for the sick and the dying. She targets sick people abandoned by their families. On average, she helps about 300 patients a month, among them Aids/HIV sufferers, and patients with leprosy, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, and heart trouble. Murari and her team also help polio-stricken children, street-children, sick beggars, and impoverished pregnant women who have little support and no access to healthcare. A lesson on Mother Theresa in her 8th grade reader inspired Murari Prameela, a resident of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, to follow in her footsteps. There was much to be done since most people here were extremely poor, and 70 per cent of the population lived in villages, working mostly as agricultural laborers with scant access to medicare.

AIDS was a major problem, with Guntur the worst-affected district in Andhra Pradesh, itself one of the worst-affected Indian states.

She decided to become a nurse, but faced considerable opposition from her family. Since she was the youngest daughter, her parents were very protective and wanted her to pursue a more conventional path. Undeterred by these roadblocks, Prameela has since dedicated her life to helping the destitute and the dying in Guntur, where she has been running a clinic since 1990 with her husband, a medical practitioner.

Prameela, now a nurse, works in an organization called Mercy Integrated Rural Health Care Ministries (MIRHCM), a registered society that supports her and bears the expenses for her travel and work. It receives donations from local organizations. Her husband is its director; she heads a team of seven caregivers.

Prameela’s concerns are victims of HIV/AIDS and others forsaken by their families and friends. As a multipurpose healthworker, she stands out in her commitment, visiting ailing street-people repeatedly, undeterred by signs of civic and personal neglect. On an average, she sees about 300 patients a month. Apart from AIDS, the main ailments she encounters are leprosy, tuberculosis, high blood pressure and heart problems.

When she started her work, Prameela faced many difficulties: Apart from her family’s distaste for her chosen vocation, she had no money to buy medicines and food and was discouraged while fundraising. But she persisted. By helping HIV/AIDS sufferers living on the streets to get medical care, she has enabled them to live in relative comfort for longer than they otherwise would have.

Prameela gives the example of a girl, about 15 years old, educated up to the 5th grade. An orphan, she was taken by a friend to a brothel, where she was sold into prostitution. However, she managed to escape and was hiding behind a bush where Prameela and her team found her. They gave her food and treatment and took her to hospital, where it was discovered that she had HIV/ AIDS. “We were not able to save her, but we took care of her, enabling her to live for another three years”, she says.

Apart from HIV/AIDS victims, Prameela and her team have also helped polio-stricken children, street-children, sick indigents, and impoverished pregnant woman who have very little support and no access to healthcare. Prameela’s regular visits to slum areas have had their impact. Thanks to her work, children in these areas have been taught how to live in a clean environment, encouraged to learn how to read and write, and have managed to avoid many infectious diseases such as cholera, malaria, typhoid, and tuberculosis. Prameela and her team have educated slum-dwellers about the dangers of drinking contaminated water, or allowing it to stagnate around them. As a result of her efforts, police, business families and others in society have been sensitized to the situation of the poor and abandoned dying.

Prameela, a devout Christian, has been married since 1993 and has two children. Since her husband shares her vision, they work constructively together. (Read all on 1000peacewomen 2005).

The words of Jesus in the Bible `Love your neignbour as thyself’ was her inspiration. My four siblings, who were skeptical about my work initially, later supported me, she said. Mother of two children, Mercy, 11, and Thomas Prince, 7, she saved many persons from the deathbed. She recollects an incident in Kattevaram slum, which is her most unforgettable experience. A pregnant tribal woman was beaten up by her husband and her in-laws and left alone in the hut. The girl consumed poison, intending to end her life out of frustration. Timely help from her saved the life. Prameela does not crave for the Nobel Prize and thinks this recognition was satisfying enough. (full text).

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Guntur is a district in Andhra Pradesh state of southern India.

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