July 30, 2015
An inspirational quote of Jack Penn goes thus: One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.
Latha Natarajan of R.S. Puram did exactly that. She used her failed business as a stepping stone to build one on it. Today, she is happy for it.
Latha almost went to the extent of ending her life when her goldsmithery work slumped after the bomb blast in 1998. Thanks to the timely intervention of Avinashilingam Jan Shikshan Sansthan (AJSS), she got a new lease of life.
Explaining about how the whole thing worked out for her, Latha said: “I met the then District Collector N. Muruganandam during the weekly grievances day meeting and submitted a petition about my plight and my decision to end my life.”
However, Collector Muruganandam consoled her and assured to help her find a source of livelihood. He also found out from her that there were nearly 600-odd goldsmith families who were sailing in the same boat and were on the verge of penury.
In a swift move, he sought the help of AJSS Director Balasubramanian to organise a motivation session on entrepreneurship development programme for them.
She pointed out that it was no exaggeration to say mention that it was a turning point in the lives of scores of goldsmith families as they learnt the art of living since the AJSS gave them life skill training in different vocations.
“I was fortunate to get the training which helped me start my own business in making jewellery using one gram gold besides artificial gold items,” Latha said with a touch of pride. She owes her success to the timely help of Mr. Muruganandam and Mr. Balasubramanian.
Latha said: “It was AJSS Director, who along with project coordinator Suryakala helped me come out of the turmoil I was facing then. The week-long training imparted by AJSS completely changed my attitude and gave me lots of confidence to start a venture on my own.” This small start led her to taste success in her family business of gold ornament making.
Latha Natarajan is now leading a contented life. She has married two of her four daughters. While one is doing her UG, the other girl is working in an IT company. FICCI FLO recognised her bold initiative with a title and featured her in the special edition of ‘150 Achievers in India’. And she has to her credit a plethora of commendation certificates from different organisations.
‘Suicide is never a solution to the problem’, said Latha Natarajan, who now spares time to motivate women-folk through AJSS in tribal areas in and around Coimbatore.
Meanwhile, AJSS Director V Balasubramanian said that ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ is observed every year on September 10. It is an initiative of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) wherein awareness programmes are conducted on preventing suicides even while advocating various means of livelihood. More than the training, emphasis is given on confidence building among the trainees.