Indien: Murari Prameela

Murari Prameela 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.

— Murari Prameela

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 Teresa in her 8th-grade reader inspired Murari Prameela to follow in her footsteps. There was much to be done, since most people in Andhra Pradesh were extremely poor, and 70 percent 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. Murari, now a nurse, works in an organization called Mercy Integrated Rural Health Care Ministries. Her husband is its director; she heads a team of seven caregivers. Murari's concerns are victims of HIV/Aids and others forsaken by their families and friends. As a multipurpose healthworker, she stands out for the level of her commitment, visiting ailing street-people repeatedly, undeterred by signs of civic and personal neglect. By helping HIV/Aids sufferers living on the streets to get medical care, she has enabled them to live in relative comfort for years. As a result of her efforts, the police, business families, and others in society have been sensitized to the situation of the poor and the abandoned dying. Murari, a devout Christian, has been married since 1993 and has two children. Since her husband shares her vision, they work constructively together.

Mercy Integrated Rural Health Care Ministries