She Indian students there who soon started admiring



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She read about personalities like Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda, the Vedas and the Upanishads. At the same time hand in hand with this knowledge about the rich heritage of India, Agnes also came to know the other side of the Indian scenario, she learnt that in India there was endless poverty and misery. Then Agnes decided where she would work, and she opted for India as her venue of work. In 1929 Agnes reached Calcutta and found a job as a teacher in St. Mary’s School on Rifan Road in Calcutta. She began teaching Indian students there who soon started admiring her, as their most loved and respected teacher.

In 1931 she was christened and now came to be known as, ‘Teresa’. Now she was called by her students as Sister Teresa. In this same school she taught from 1929 to 1948 and became the principal of the institution in the latter years of this period.

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At this time, she felt the necessity of learning the language of Hindi and Bengali, as she was dealing with people speaking in these languages. She learnt these two languages from her students. In 1948, Sister Teresa was allowed to leave the school and work independently for the welfare of the poor. In 1948 only she also took up Indian citizenship. Now she was well equipped for her final goal she was now found moving about the city slums to provide solace and comfort to the poor and the down trodden. Soon after her appearance in the streets of Calcutta she came to be known as mother Teresa, because she was seen to possess the motherly, love and affection for all. She used to go to the homes of the sick and the afflicted and nursed them without any hesitation.

However, she soon realised that, to nurse the sick, she required a proper training so, she took to a course in nursing in the Holy Hospital in Patna in Bihar. On her return from Bihar, she had nothing to fall back upon. She took a single small room on hire in a jhuggi cluster and opened a free school there. This school was to cater to the schooling needs of the slum children.

Mother taught the children to keep clean, to comb their hair, and brush their teeth with need sticks. She used to tell them stories played with them and in their sickness she nursed them. With all this being done at mother’s school soon the school became very popular with the poor. Soon she also found helping hands among her old student and the school became bigger and bigger, and now at this stage of growth voluntary gifts of blanket, clothes, food and medicines in 1950 came in. Mother Teresa founded a new religious order and called it by the name of ‘Missionaries of Charity’.

Another institution established by the Mother was the Nirmal Shishu Bhavan. This was a home for orphan children who were suffering. She got the nurses trained by one Mr. Sen, a doctor, a surgeon of leprosy. In 1964, Pope Paul VI came to India and he donated his new car for use of the Homes. Her original organisation the ‘Missionaries of Charity’ has grown into a world wide organisation spreading in more than thirty countries of the world.

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