Laxmi was born in the Prakash Tekadi slums, and has lived there her whole life. She had limited access to education as a child. As an adult she lives in the same slums she grew up in,now with her husband and two daughters. Her husband works as a casual cook, getting work when kitchens are overwhelmed or when food is needed for weddings –this is more difficult with COVID-19.
Laxmi was raised in poverty, and now she is raisingher children in poverty. Tragically, she was not given the opportunity to escape this trap. But she has hope that her children can break the cycle!
Prakash Tekadiis a small slum community of around 180 people, who are squatting near the Ambernath tip in Mumbai, India. Most people living there work as ‘rag pickers’, sorting through rubbish for items they can sell. The majority live on less than AUD$2.50 a day andlive in houses made out of whatever can be scavenged. Communities like this are most vulnerable to the impact, direct and indirect, of COVID-19.
Laxmi was one of the people who contributed to a community consultation as part of designing a new development project. The consultation aimed to learn and address the experience of the people living in the slums. She contributed her thoughts about the critical needs in PrakashTekadi.
“I said that I’m more concerned about my children; it would be helpful to get the children more education.”
With support like yours, things are changing in Laxmi’s community. Children like Laxmi’s two daughters have started their learning at the Education Centre run by our local partners, Hosanna Ministries.
The Education Centre is open in the morning, and the children who attend learn basic maths, reading and writing,and sing songs.The children have been taught the importance of washing their hands properly, a critical skill in the current pandemic. The centre also provides them with a nutritious snack, something many children in Prakash Tekadi don’t have access to at home.
“I’m happy that my daughters will get some education, and close to our house,” says Laxmi, laughing and smiling. “Because it’s in the community, we feel like it’s safe. Doing activities in our community, it makes us feel very proud and safe.”