As a father, I felt proud when I heard that my son Suman had secured a seat at Delhi University for his higher studies; I was overwhelmed with joy and satisfaction. Being the first family member to go to college, it’s a dream come true for us. As a barber, I never imagined that my son would achieve such success in life.
Looking back, the journey was full of struggles and hardships for us to raise Suman. When he was born with a twisted ankle, it was difficult for us as we couldn’t afford his treatment and medicines with my meagre income of only $100, which was not even regular. But with the collective efforts of my community members and well-wishers, we got him the corrective surgery he needed.
Financial instability was a constant problem, and there were times when I couldn’t even provide one meal a day for my family. We rarely got new clothes. Sometimes we had to go to bed on an empty stomach surviving on a glass of water.
I still remember the nightmare when the Delhi government demolished our home in Thokar No-8, near the Yamuna riverbed, to make way for the Commonwealth Games. We found ourselves on the streets, having lost all our belonging and without any support or resources.
Amidst darkness all around, there was a light of hope. Asha, under the leadership of Dr Kiran, came to our rescue. With Asha’s support, we got a piece of land in Savda Ghevra to build our homes.
Despite all the problems and challenges, we settled in a new place, and Suman excelled in academics and obtained an impressive 82% in his class 12 Final School leaving exams. With the help of Asha, he secured admission to Delhi University in Hindi Hons.
Asha provided financial support for his college fees and other expenses and guidance and mentorship that helped him navigate academic and personal challenges.
Today, my son is a proud Asha ambassador, working under the leadership of a committed team to support others in the community who are facing similar struggles. It brings tears to my eyes to see him as a beacon of hope and inspiration, a testament to the resilience and determination of human spirits.
I will forever be grateful to Dr Kiran Martin and the Asha family for their support, empathy and guidance in changing the narrative of our lives.