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Janki's labour of love

Shiva Shankar
Friday, January 18, 2013

FIFTY NINE years old and still single, Janki Devi is well known in Nausori for her spiritual knowledge and faith in humanity.

Being an inspiration to her fellow workmates and to all the women in her community, she continues to be a blessing to everyone she meets.

For Janki has an unshakable faith in the teachings and life of Sai Baba.

She's always believed in living a simple life.

"Sai Baba is great, his teachings are immortal, he lived a simple life and helped everyone that he came across and I have no regrets that I have chosen to dedicate my life to Him," she said.

Now working as a hairdresser, Janki not only works her magic on her client's hair but also spreads beauty in their lives.

Although her childhood years were full of hardships, she says that it's not the thorns on the rose that matter but the flower that blooms which brings about beauty.

In her early years, Janki struggled hard, and became a primary school teacher in 1977.

She taught for three years before deciding to study at Rochester Beauty College in Minnesota, America.

Completing her studies, she returned to Fiji in 1981 and joined the Trade Winds Hotel for four and a half years.

She joined her current workplace, Modern Hair Salon in 1987 and has been working there for thr last 26 years.

Janki who believes in giving back to the community, does her share of charity work in her free time.

In 1997 she established a Sai centre at her own house where the principal focus was strengthening the moral and spiritual foundation of children who attended her Sunday classes. This continued until 2007, when it had to close down because of family problems and a lack of community support.

Janki has been giving free haircuts to the children of Dilkusha Home and the disabled children in her community for the past few years.

"When you see the smiling faces of these children, you get a feeling that the work you are doing is definitely being thanked by God himself as we all are creations of His," she said.

The Sai Baba devotee says one of her happiest moments or achievements as she put it, was when she was thanked by Sai Baba himself through a messenger, Kishore, who had visited Sai Baba during one of his trips to India.

While many people would seek God in temples, churches or mosques, Janki believes she's being blessed every moment she puts a smile on some else's face.

"It doesn't hurt to smile" she said.

When asked about her plans for this year, she says she hopes to marry off her son and continue her lifelong charity to others.

Being a peace loving person, she encourages others in her community to help others and live peacefully with each other.

Her advice to children is to always respect and not intentionally hurt the feelings of others.

In the words of her beloved Sathya Sai Baba, she added: "Life is a song, sing it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a dream, realise it. Life is a sacrifice, offer it. Life is love, enjoy it".

nShiva Shankar is one of four

winners for the Best Young Writer awards for the Kaila! Design Your Own Newspaper project 2012.

He was a Form Six student at Nausori High School last year.

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