This is the story of a 26 years old Sandhya, a resident of Kalkaji slum colony. Sandhya was born and brought up in Delhi. She is the eldest of the three daughters.
Sandhya joined Asha in 2008 when she was in class 9th. Her life was very typical of a girl living in a slum. She had to manage her schedule for study during the house works. She never quit studying, even if it meant studying in late hours of the night under a streetlight or at Asha center. During her school days, she never used to go out for School outings or extracurricular activities as her father, a peon in private company was not able to pay for it. Due to the financial crisis, she sometimes had a one-time meal in a day, but she never complained.
In 2013, after completing her school, with the support of Asha, she took admission in B.A. (Hons.) Sanskrit from Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi. The biggest tragedy and turning point of her life was when her mother passed away during childbirth. Sandhya was very upset and heartbroken. She felt nothing was left in her life. But then, she remembered her younger siblings and decided to move on, for them. She received moral support from the Asha team in Kalkaji who kept her motivating for her future. Within a few months of her mother’s death, her father married again and after a few days, the stepmother started treating her badly. Sandhya tried speaking to her father, but he did not listen to anything even stopped giving her money to commute to her college.
Sandhya wanted desperately to finish her college education and she started selling momos in a makeshift stall in her slum lane. She could earn enough to pay for the everyday college expense. Sandhya used to get up early every morning, after doing household chores, attended college. She used to rush back to start her stall to work till very late at night. After wrapping her work, she used to study for 2 hours, therefore, getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep. Sandhya never lost hope.
After graduation, one of her Asha friends told her about Digital documentation work. She started working and learning side by side. After a year’s experience, with the help of a friend and her savings, she decided to open her place for the same business, in the year 2018. The word spread around about her good work and her business started flourishing.
Emotional Sandhya ended her story by her saying that life can be tough but if we do not focus on the problem only, we start living and enjoying fully.
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