Mumbai18 Oct, 2021

Praghati student of class seven in Jeevan Vikas School, Kanjur Marg lives with her mother and two younger brothers. Her mother was a bar dancer which her father disapproved of and under the influence of alcohol he used to often assault her physically. Leading to this her mother left the job but rejoined lured by the glamour and money involved in this work. This lead to increased conflicts between Pragati’s parents that finally ended in her father deserting them. It is four years since he left them and still there is no clue about his whereabouts. In 2005, the government ordered the closure of dance bars rendering thousands of women bar dancers jobless and forced to choose jobs of least interest or required fewer skills. Pragati’s mother was forced to become a waste picker!

Making both ends meet through waste picking was difficult and frustrating for Praghati’s mother. She began neglecting her children and household chores. The house remained perennially untidy and her children roamed about unkempt without going to school.

When Praghati joined the Enlight child support centre, the instructor consistently pursued her about how to keep oneself neat & tidy and also ensured that Praghati attended school regularly. At times Praghati was sent back home from the CSC to return tidied up. Gradually she learned, to manage herself and focus on her lessons. As she had to take care of her younger brothers, the instructor encouraged her to bring them to the CSC and this allowed her to focus on her studies.

Gradually, Praghati’s competencies began improving. She developed an interest in reading and began borrowing books from the library. Her writing is also seeing an improvement. Overall, her life has taken a positive turn and her future seems bright.