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Mrs. Lalshmi Alagappan – July 1st, 2005

In the days of yore, women were confined to home and their duty was only to take care of the family. But today it is a different situation. Women are well educated and capable. Hence, today’s women are privileged to do the dual role of both a house wife and a career women. Here comes a question, as how do these women balance their family and career?

Mrs. Lakshmi Alagappan is director of rehabilitation at gracehaven center run by Salvation Army. Her husband Mr. Alagappan is a finance controller. She is a mother of two children Aishwarya (13) and Eshwar (10).

Mrs. Lakshmi Alagappan counsels the divorcees, young criminals sent to the rehabilitation center by the court and advise those family members, as to how to help the young criminals get rid of their ill-behaviour and do take care of the welfare of those families.

When people are facing problems in life, they tend to seek help from the social workers. So a social worker is ought to face people with various kinds of emotional, physical and financial problems in life. When a person faces a particular problem he/she is just encountering a single problem and is seeking solution to that particular problem which is his/her own. How would be the mind of social workers, when they keep hearing about a number of problems? How does it affect them? Though the consequences of the problems will have different degrees of impact on the victim and the social worker, still, how will a social worker react to the ills that are menacing the society?

She says, “while we are in the Masters program, we will be clearly advised as to how to approach the problems and how to prepare ourselves before counseling others. We have to be really strong willed to be a social worker. If not it can lead to a various kinds of distress in life. You must develop an attitude to stay away from the problem and counsel. Only then you can be a good social worker at a long run. Though we will attain this mental state in due course, still we are also human beings. Some ills of society can really bother us”.

So, if it affects her, what does she do to overcome the problem?

“To me yoga is the best way to get peace of mind. There are a number of other things that I do. I like to listen to good songs; I chat with my friends;I spend quality time with my children.

I don’t carry work related botheration to home. At home I am wife to my husband, mother to my children. Once I leave my office, I completely forget about the work. That is the best way, I keep out my stress. Then I am a normal house wife, attending functions, praying, watching television, going for a walk etc..,

Everyday, at least once I speak over the phone with my maid and husband and make sure I keep a track on what is happening. I have an understanding maid, who is there with us for a number of years. She has almost become a part of our family. She knows our demands well, and will ever be ready to fulfil those demands.

We have very well trained our children to take care of their everyday needs. We have assigned each of us a task, to be carried out. We make sure we do our task at the right time – so no postponing the works nor dragging. So there is a good flow of discipline and understanding in the family and so there is no room for confusion, frustration and dis-satisfaction.

She further says, spending quality time with the children is the most important task for working mothers. I make sure my children don’t feel that I don’t spend time with them as par as a housewife. For that, I spend at least half an hour with each child a day. I try to be very friendly with them. I make sure I teach them moral stories. I also quote examples from real stories and try to discipline them. I and my husband will take utmost care in fulfilling our children’s needs.

My husband plays a vital role in my growth. With out husband’s support it is impossible for a woman to attain the desired goal in life. I have never experienced male chauvinism in my life. He is ever supportive. Many a time, he has encouraged and helped me to achieve my goals.

So with this she concluded, ‘if there is good understanding and respect among the family members, it is possible for a housewife to be a successful career woman as well.”

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