My name is Shweta, I am seven years old, in Pre- nursery class. We live near the old quarry, called Khadan. My parents names are Rita and fathers' Shalik. I like school but do not like to talk to any one.
I have lot of fun on Diwali festival, burn fire-crackers and eat lot of sweets. I like pink color, I have a pink dress. My favourite food is rice and 'dal' (lentils). My best friend is Manisha, she plays with me. If I had to be an animal I would like to be a lion, it is beautiful and brave.
The slum children of Nagpur live in desperate conditions. Their shelters are cardboard "houses" that are frequently bulldozed, leaving them to sleep in the street. Their parents spend their days combing through garbage for food or scraps of cloth to sell, or begging, or performing hard low wage labor. The children are left to provide for themselves, "ragpicking", begging, working menial jobs or stealing to acquire food. They are preyed upon by tobacco and alcohol vendors trying to get them addicted at an early age. There is no plumbing or running water, no place to bathe or use the bathroom, and no refuge from the violence that permeates the slums. (One study showed that almost 80% of the girls have been raped by the age of fourteen.) Lacking even basic medical care, the children suffer needlessly from fevers, simple infections, scabies, lice and other easily treatable conditions.
Now, these children – and scores of others – are flourishing in a healthy environment where they’re gaining the education they need to reach toward a better life at The Nav Jeevan Sanstha School. Watch the video slideshow.