We took a lunchtime train to Malad with a quick shopping stop on the way. Today’s train was less than 10p for the two of us. The station had some beautiful artwork :) our first train was so busy even in the ladies carriage and I was standing very close to the open door. Our second train was far more civilised as we could sit down.We took a tuk tuk into the slums of Malad and were met by Dayabhai who took us to meet the girls working on the project. Through winding streets of the slum dwellings to a tiny workshop down a backstreet.
Dayabhai has fought so hard to establish the project to offer opportunities to these women and even been in prison due to his activism. He is passionate about empowering these ladies and has set up this sewing group offering training to develop sewing skills. He employs 15 girls, some go to school as well as working with him, some do not. The oldest girl was 18 and they have learnt all their skills from him. When we were there each girl gave us a little presentation about what they have learnt and where they hope to go with their careers. They are all so ambitious and desire to learn as much as they can. We were so touched by their aspirations and desire to become leaders. These girls have come from nothing and through opportunities are slowly climbing high....We are keen to support this project and will be developing some ideas as to the most effective ways to support their development. We have some ideas planned .......They make beautiful bags and made bags for us whilst we watched them.The upstairs working conditions are so cramped and hot yet the girls work hard because they want to learn and do well.Dayabhai has a plan to try to build a school in the slum area and also to take his project out to the rural areas. We spent a considerable amount of time with the project and were given sugar cane drinks during our visit. The girls walked us to the tuk tuk and gave us a heartfelt send off. We will keep you informed our of plans to support SakhiNav NAv Nirmaan.