In the slums of Kusumpur Pahadi, South Delhi there lives an 18-year-old girl, Mansi. Her father who hails from Uttar Pradesh comes from a family of farmers and there has not been a single member from the family who has stepped into a college, for education.
With sheer determination and support from Asha Community Health and Development Society, an organisation committed to helping the people residing in slum colonies in the national capital, Mansi is going to be the first in her family to attend college.
"In the mid-1990s, my father relocated to Delhi from his village in Uttar Pradesh. Like several other slum families in Kusumpur Pahadi, we had a shanty made-up of plastic for the family to live in.
Soon, he found a job as a gardener and started to at ₹20 per day. Today, he continues to work as a gardener and earns ₹8000 per month and is the sole breadwinner supporting his family of six members.
With a limited income, it was difficult for us to manage the entire household and each one's individual demands. My siblings and I never bought new clothes during festivals since these sacrifices had become an important part of our everyday life and did not count for much on the face of survival.
Over a period of time, I got acquainted with ambassadors from Asha Community Health and Development Society. They visited the slums and helped me to prepare for my 12th Boards. Later, they also asked me to visit their centre if I faced difficulties with my lessons and needed assistance.
I started attending the centre on a regular basis and found that the tuition classes by the Asha Ambassadors ( who were Asha College Students) made lessons easy and helped me score well in my subjects. The mock exams preparations conducted at the centre helped me overcome my nervousness and fear.
A well-prepared mind helped me score 84.5% in the examinations. With no one around to help me understand the significance of career decisions, I turned to the Asha team who helped me with the decisions and the admissions.
With their assistance, I registered for admission to Delhi University and hope to pursue a degree in Arts and then an LLB to fulfil my dream of becoming a lawyer. I aspire to be a lawyer who fights for the truth and help slum families get justice."
Asha Community Health and Development Society provides holistic community-based healthcare, empowerment, financial inclusion, education and environmental improvements by training, resourcing and encouraging slum communities to receive and enjoy their basic human rights.
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