*Arun and *Lakya are originally from Uttar Pradesh, but have lived in Patripul for years,
When our partners first got to know the family, Arun worked as a cobbler at the railway station, earned very little income and spent most of it on alcohol. The youngest boy, *Sunni, would follow him to the railway station to beg, to get money for his mum and sisters. The oldest, *Arjay, dropped out of school and used to go out at night, selling drugs.
Only the youngest of the four children attended school, where her academic progress was minimal.
The whole family had frequent bouts of sickness, because they were drinking from drainage water. Their prospects were bleak, and their life together was bitter. But everything is different now.
Our partners took their case to the local authorities, and arranged for them to have access to clean drinking water.
The children, aged 16, 13, 9 and 8, are all in school, not begging or selling drugs, and their dad has stopped drinking. He has a different goal now: “We did not get proper education. We were rejected from the community and from the school, but I want my children to go to school, and break this poverty.”
Thanks to the extra support the children get at the GCare Centre, their learning is improving.
The Coronavirus pandemic and long lockdowns have been an enormous blow, and a time of great fear. In an extended lockdown, no-one could work, and the family faced starvation.
Arun says: “During this lockdown we were so scared of our life, lot of questions raised, we did not have a single rupee, and even no rice, no dahl, no vegetables. One afternoon we were sitting and thinking what to do, we thought it is better to get Covid19 than dying from starvation.
“Suddenly we heard someone knocking on our door, my elder son went opened and there was Mahendra standing with food packages.”
Multiple separate food deliveries have been made during the pandemic so far. The impact of our partners’ work before and during lockdown has been wide-ranging and transforming: “After GCare Centre came to our slum, we are happy and got hope for my children.”