Throughout her childhood, 16-year-old Pooja from Hyderabad has been balancing her life between chasing her dreams and tending to her familial responsibilities. She stays in a temporary hut in Gudimalkapur with her parents and younger sister. Her family had migrated from Odisha in search of livelihood.
Her parents work as daily wage labourers and collect rags to supplement their household income. But it's not enough to meet their daily expenses. The parents work in shifts so that one of them is at home with the children as they are worried about their safety and security in the settlement. Pooja's younger sister studies in Class 7 in a nearby government school, and that's her only source of getting one full meal served under the mid-day meal program.
Pooja completed her high school while helping her parents collect and segregate rags and taking care of her younger sister when her parents were not around. While she wants to study further, she's also aware of her family's financial limitations. She wants to start earning money to ease her parents' burden. What she desperately needed was guidance to make these life-altering decisions.
When Save the Children team came across Pooja, she was connected to a psycho-social counsellor who gave her guidance on her personal and professional life. She was also enrolled in a vocational training course. She decided to take the Fashion Designing course under the Pradhan Mantri Kushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
Children in Street Situations deserve the agency and opportunities to realise their dreams. Vocational training is one such chance to move forward in life. Pooja has completed the course and got her certificate. This course helped her chart a career path and gain confidence to follow her goals and dreams.
"My dream has come true! I wish my friends too get such opportunities to hone their skills," said Pooja. "My daughter has become an inspiration to other girls in the settlement," said her proud mother, Laxmi.