Passing through the narrow alleys of Gandhivas, a huge slum in Ahmedabad, one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities of Gujarat, I couldn’t help but wonder the sheer amount of difficulties that the slum dwellers have to go through. The underlying stench of the garbage welcomed us. The kids swarmed around us, and they all had these happy and inquisitive looking faces.
Alkaben Solanki was washing clothes outside her house, and when she saw us, she hurried inside the house, and appeared after few minutes, covering her forehead with her sari pallu. After the unit officer accompanying me explained her the reason for which I had come there, a calm expression settled on her face. Her mother-in-law was more than happy to divulge information about how the loan from Milaap had impacted their lives.
Alkaben, who is a construction worker, had taken a loan of Rs. 10,000 from Milaap to buy tools and equipment for plumbing. Her family, including her in-laws, as well as her husband, are all construction workers. In fact, Gandhivas is a slum where most of the dwellers, like Alkaben, are construction workers. Alkaben, who is expecting, had stopped going to work for the past two months. Her mother-in-law spoke at length about how their family situation had improved with the help of the loan. Not only were they able to carry on their work more smoothly now, but they were also able to save Rs. 3000 every month.
Whenever anyone speaks of resilience, now, it’s Alkaben and her family that immediately come to my mind.
Alkaben with her mother-in-law