Sister Lucy Kurian
Sister Lucy Kurian was an inmate of the Holy Cross Sisters convent in Maharashtra when a pregnant woman fleeing her abusive husband sought shelter in the convent. Unfortunately, the nuns had to send her back. That night the seven-month pregnant woman was set on fire by her husband. Neither the woman nor the unborn child could be saved.
This incident made her start ‘Maher’ in Pune to take in destitute women and children. Sr Lucy Kurian cannot remember the number of women and children she has taken under her wings but she can never forget the woman who started it all.
St Lucy was inclined to help others right from her childhood even though her father was an ordinary farmer. She witnessed the miserable conditions of Mumbai’s slums when she lived in the city doing odd jobs. The tragedy of the pregnant woman sealed her trajectory...
She left the convent with the permission of the Church. A Hungarian national helped her buy an acre of land in a remote village for Rs 1 lakh. The first ‘Abhaya’ center was followed up by 41 houses including one at Mulanthuruthy near Kochi.
The Pune-based organization started by Sr Lucy Kurian has helped about 2,000 children go to school and find jobs. Many of them have even found employment abroad.
She won the 2016 Vanitha Women of the Year Award for the social service rendered by her.