[ ‘SHARE’ Sept-Oct 2014 ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
About 1.8 million people in Delhi live in slums. Most of them used to live in villages and rural areas and migrated to the metropolis seeking for a better life. Yet, the slums are overcrowded, unhygienic and lack basic amenities. Most dwellers cannot find regular work as they do not an official identification. These realities shatter their “sweet home” dreams.
There are 25,000 people living in Sri Ram, a low-lying area northeast of Delhi. The inhabitants suffer annual flooding and the resultant typhoid, diarrhoea and cholera. Besides their financial burden is heavy as having many children is a cultural norm in India. Many families thus live in hunger and illness.
CEDAR’s partner EFICOR has worked with a local organisation SPTWD since 2005 to mobilise community development in a slum group. They provide basic education for the children, basic healthcare services to the inhabitants, assist them to establish their self-help groups, offer small loans, and provide vocational training for women such as sewing and embroidery.
Since 2013, the Sri Ram community development programme has changed from “service provision” to “community empowerment”:
- Setting up dwellers’ association, providing organisation and management training, relaying government’s civil and social information, helping the community to lead its sustainable development;
- Strengthening pre- and postnatal care support for young girls and women;
- Launching strategic operations training such as fashion design, hospitality and communication skills; also setting up cooperatives, centralising garment ordering and manufacturing, increasing employment opportunities for women and young people.
Mona now sews garments for her community after completing EFICOR’s fashion design course. Her mother says gratefully, “I am proud of my daughter; the neighbours really like her products. She has brought hope to the whole family.”
Let us support community development work in Indian slums, bringing hope to more families for enabling them with a stable home and employment.
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