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IN Andhra Pradesh, Feb 18, 2022

An Orphan Girl from Slum Gets a New Lease of Life

Growing up in one of Mumbai’s slums, life had never been easy for Daya (name changed). Abject penury and hard life in the slums were just a few of the struggles she had to endure as a child. But, her life took a turn for the better when Hope for Children opened the door to education and now this education is helping her progress towards a better future.

Narrow lanes, clogged drains, cramped houses and heaps of garbage characterizes the slum Daya hails from. Her father a heavy drinker lost his life to kidney failure and his death put the family in deep poverty. Her widowed mother who was a chronic TB patient made what little money she could by doing odd jobs just to survive and provide shelter and food for Daya and her grandmother. Though they had few relatives living in different parts of Mumbai but no one came forward to help them in their time of distress.

When Daya turned 5 years old, her mother wanted to put her in school, but she had no means to send her to school. When learning about the local Hope for Children center, Daya’s mother and grandmother took her there seeking admission. The staff of Hope for children readily took the child under their care and assured the women that Daya would surely be well taken care of.

Daya’s first day at the Hope for children center, 4 April 2015, marked the beginning of a new chapter in life. For the first time, Daya began to get nutritious food which was provided at the center. She also received school supplies, good education and love and concern of the Hope for Children teachers and from new friends.

But, her joy was short lived. Her mother’s health deteriorated further and she became paralyzed. And then one day she left the world, leaving Daya and her grandmother alone to fend for themselves. Daya was just 7 years old at the time. Her grandmother lost all hope of giving a proper life for Daya.

At such a time, the Hope for Children staff came to the grandmother and assured her that they would take care of Daya and help her complete her education.

This was like a fresh lease of life for the grandmother. She worked hard as a domestic help in the homes of rich people living in the nearby apartments. With whatever money she got after paying of the house rent, she took care of Daya. Most of the time, Daya was present in the centre where she got a proper meal everyday and clean uniform and books to study under good teachers. Each day she would come to the centre and finish her homework and then leave for school. Daya is studying hard and also helping her grandmother with household works and improving in her language and comprehension of different subjects.

“If it had not been for Hope for Children, my little girl would be begging on the streets”, says Daya’s grandmother. She is grateful to Hope for Children for coming to her rescue when nobody else, even her own family, came to help.

Despite all the odds stacked against her, Daya is full of hope. “I will become a doctor,” says this little girl with a twinkle in her eyes and her heart full of hopes.

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