Mary Sheeba, who hails from Pancode in Ernakulam, Kerala was diagnosed with a disorder named Fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
Although the disease doesn't have a cure, it can be controlled by medication. After her doctor asked her to spend time on 'growing plants' as a means to counter stress, it not only did work as her stress buster but also turned into her only source of livelihood.
The 43-year-old woman was determined to work hard and take complete control over her life.
Mary said that life hasn't been a bed of roses for her. While dealing with the debilitating disease, she struggled to make ends and raised both her children alone.
Before this disorder affected Mary, she was working as a fashion designer. After getting diagnosed with this painful disorder, she couldn't continue with her designing work.
Mary shared, "Since gardening has always been a passion for me; I didn't need much convincing. I loved growing Pathumthani plants (portulaca Grandiflora or table rose)," as reported by The New Indian Express.
Initially, Mary started with 50 varieties of table roses. At present, she grows over 100 varieties of them. Besides, Mary has also grown 180 varieties of begonias and 15 varieties of hybrid lotus, among other plants. She has set up all these plants in the rented house where she lives along with her kids.
Mary said that it has been 17 years since she began living in rented houses. She recalled that many people helped her when she had started her pathumani nursery. They came forward to sponsor her plant pots.
However, as soon as her small nursery took shape, the house owners would ask her to move, and it was tough for her to manage.
Mary had to incur a huge loss while moving the pots. She said that if she moves 1,000 pots, at least 200 of them would break during transportation. After this, she had to begin growing the plants all over again.
Mary said that she needs three cents of land to set up a shack as a home for herself and her kids. She doesn't want to move from rental house to another as she wants to focus completely on her nursery.
As the nursery is bringing in a steady income, she dreams of expanding it to a scale from where she would be able to provide livelihoods to other women like her.
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