Sixty-year-old Begum Shahjahan’s confident demeanour does not give out the struggles she has gone through in her early years. Recollecting those days, she narrates her arduous journey from Nepal border to Delhi along with her two little children. What made the travel even more tiresome was the Tuberculosis she was suffering from. Her husband who had come in search of employment to the capital had exhausted all his savings for his wife’s treatment that bore no result. Their only resort was to now try their luck in this city, both for her treatment and for a better life ahead.
Little did Shahjahan know that she was landing in one of the most infamous slums of Mayapuri, known for inhumane living conditions back then. Her husband who now worked as a daily wage labourer, strived hard to fend for his family.
In 1998, Asha’s intervention in Mayapuri brought a new lease of life for its residents. As Asha’s field workers started visiting the slum to provide healthcare services, there were hundreds of patients suffering from curable diseases living in pathetic conditions.
Begum Shahjahan has been a witness to Mayapuri’s transformation over the years. Part of the Asha’s Women’s Association for almost two decades now, she leads her community and wants her two daughter in law’s to continue being part of the change.
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