70-year-old Ratna Das is a trained
homeopathy practitioner and a sign language interpreter-
have always been a happy homemaker, but I felt there was still so much more to
do! I always wanted to do something beyond managing the house. I feel proud of
my life-partner, Dr. Subrata Das, for his immense support in encouraging me to
tread in areas, I did not think of, and helping me to fulfill my dreams.
Mrs. Ratna Das and her life partner (her best friend)
Fourth, of the twelve siblings,
Ratna grew up in a big family, and at an early age, took charge of the
household chores. Despite her responsibilities, she enjoyed her school and
college days in Patna, especially the sports class. She explains, “I was a
sportsperson, and liked to play games like Shotput, Throw ball, and Kabaddi. I
also participated in all the athletic events”.
After marriage, she gradually
settled down in the busy life of the capital city, Delhi. She soon became the
mother of two loving daughters and, had her hands full with household chores,
taking care of their studies, and various other activities.
Ratna says, “I was well- settled,
but always yearned to explore something more!” Her husband and
father-in-law, both established Homeopath practitioners, encouraged her to join
their clinic. She learned to interact with patients, check blood pressure, give
injections, and to prepare homeopathy medicines. In parallel, she did her
certificate course in Homeopathy medicine and started handling independent
cases. Until a few years back, she actively supported her husband in his
clinic, and for a period of three years (2010-2012), when her husband fell ill,
she single-handedly took care of all the patients.
Mrs. Ratna Das with her loving grandkids
In 1975, Ratna started volunteering
as an interpreter for Deaf and dumb association in Delhi and stayed involved
for over 30 years. She mentions, “After my marriage, I learned the sign
language so that I could interact with my sister-in-law and her husband, both
of them, being deaf and dumb. I could not only connect with them but also found
the way to reach out and bond with several others, who could not hear and
speak”. As an interpreter, Ratna attended various conferences and meetings, and
traveled to many places, including, Mumbai, Goa, Kashmir, Vaishno Devi, and
Ratna is also one of the founder
members of the Arambagh Puja Committee in Delhi, which celebrated its silver
jubilee in 2013. During the first few years, she was the only woman member of
the committee and played a very active role in organizing the Durga Puja
celebrations each year. Ratna clarifies, “Despite relocating to another
locality, my heart still lies in Arambagh. I am the eldest member of their
organization, and I ensure to go back to my old place each year for the
Her family was supportive of her
work, especially her husband, who, to date, encourages her to make new friends
and enjoy her own space.
Ratna was always sensitive to a
girl’s financial independence. She feels that more than the marital status of a
girl, it’s economic freedom, which is very important. On her part, she ensured
that her daughters studied well and chose their careers wisely. Today, they are
professionally established, happily married, and settled in their own lives.
She is herself a proud grandma of two lovely teenagers, and, also bonds happily
with her son-in-law(s), whom she fondly refers to as her buddies.