Asha’s Women’s Association lending a helping hand to Premila

To access 42-year-old Premila’s house, one must walk through streets littered with glass shards, battle toxic fumes from burning lubricants and deafening sounds of disowned vehicles being hammered into scrap. Premila’s shanty-town is the neighbour to one of Asia’s biggest scrap market, Mayapuri—an urban chaos and a nightmare for a population of around 30000 slum-dwellers.

This mother of three migrated to West Delhi’s Mayapuri Slum Colony almost two decades ago from Uttar Pradesh’s Jodhpur village, in search of a better life. Her husband, Ramkishan took up a painter’s job in the city. The family despite their meager income pulled-off two meals a day and things were “quite stable”. However, Premila’s husband passed away last year from a heart attack, leaving her to fend for herself and her children. Premila got a fresh lease of life when Asha supported Women’s Association advanced the single mother a loan of Rs 5000 to start a small shop in her neighbourhood.

Premila’s small business in the grim scrap market has become the pivot of her dreams. Apart from paying back the loan in installments of Rs 300, she wants to educate her daughter and her youngest son. Premila today is a member of the Mahila Mandal. With tears in her eyes, Premila remembers, “The Mahila Mandal helped me take my husband’s body to his native village. They are my family”.