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Meet Woman of grit: Banu Sheikh Safi-From a ragpicker to a nurse


Yavatma, Maharashtra: A woman, who started in life as a ragpicker following the death of her father when she was just three years old, has set an example of what grit and determination can do by becoming a nurse.

She is now all set to get married on October 2 in the presence of senior politicians here.

Banu Sheikh Safi, of local Ravidas Nagar, lost her father when she was only three.

She, along with her mother and younger 1.5 year-old sister Kshama then started ragpicking on the streets of Yavatmal city to earn their livelihood.

Both the sisters used to walk on the city’s streets carrying gunny bag on their shoulders and collected the rags from gutters. After sorting out the rags and other waste materials, they used to sell it to scrap merchants.

However, even while doing the job of ragpicking, they did not ignore their education and studied till class XII before joining the Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery (ANM) course in the Government Medical College, Yavatmal.

After completing their course, Banu, in her early 30s, is now working as nurse in a public health centre while her sister opted out of it and preferred to remain with their ailing mother.

Impressed by Banu’s determination to survive all odds in life, Shabbir Khan, a tailor from Rui (Wai) village in the district has come forward to marry her.

The couple would enter the wedlock on October 2 at a ceremony here, social worker and organiser of the function Dr Prakash Nandurkar said.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir, Maharashtra Minister of State for Energy Madan Yerawar, MoS for Revenue Sanjay Rathod, zilla parishad president Aarati Fuphate, MP Bhavana Gawali, MLC Manikrao Thakre, District Collector Sachindra Pratap Singh, and others are likely to bless the couple at the wedding ceremony, Nandurkar said.

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