In the last three years, I have visited many slums in Mumbai. Largely to understand their problems and how best we can use the Helper4U platform to alleviate some issues. In the process, we have come across extraordinary people working in the slums. Tirelessly without much support from the government and still achieving something meaningful.
Last Sunday, we interacted with Dharavi Diary, an organization founded by filmmaker and entrepreneur, Nawneet Ranjan, who has been running a computer center for kids in Dharavi for more than three years now. What started as a center to familiarise the kids with computers has gradually evolved into a place that offers the kids an opportunity to take part in a variety of experiences, ranging from photography and street theatre to mural painting and CODING on their own. This from kids of maids, cooks, drivers, or daily wage earners, who have had little exposure to computer-related training.
What really surprised me was that the center was full of girls sitting together doing their homework, with the elder ones also helping the younger ones. Many of these girls do not find even a corner to study at home. They were happy to have a dedicated room, where everyone around them was present only with one aim:
The happy faces and chatter of these girls filled me with a strange hope: There is still hope for these girls. They will surely do something worthwhile with their lives. They will at least not work as menial labor!
Beti Padhao Beti Bachao
Being a firm believer in Beti Padao Beti Bachao I hope organizations like Dharavi Diary are supported better. Helper4U will surely do its bit by working to generate employment opportunities for the families in the area. As a started, we have committed to employing some of the older kids as part of our data entry team.