Dinesh and Seetha, from an interior village of Uttar Pradesh, dreamt of a better life for their family and embarked on a journey to Delhi, the land of opportunities. They settled in the Thokar No 8 slum colony at the Yamuna riverbed. Life was difficult for them as they faced numerous hardships while raising their four children, two girls and two boys. However, their lives took an unexpected turn when the government demolished the slum to make way for the Commonwealth Games facilities in 2010. Around 3000 residents, including Dinesh and Seetha, were forced to leave. Undeterred by adversity, the determined couple, along with many others like them, found solace in the helping hands of Dr Kiran and Asha, who assisted them in acquiring a piece of land at Savda Ghevra on the outskirts of Delhi. The land was bare, without basic infrastructure. Dinesh and Seetha decided to rebuild their lives from scratch. With resilience, they conceived the idea of opening a small grocery shop on the roadside. Sadly, their entrepreneurial venture was deemed illegal, forcing them to halt their business. However, aware of their plight, the Asha team advised them to utilize one of the small rooms in their house as a shop. This idea soon became a reality, as the Punjab National Bank granted them a loan of one lakh rupees, convinced by the persuasive arguments of the Asha team. By the end of 2007, the couple proudly opened their shop, and they repaid the loan on time. Their determination and hard work paid off, providing their children a good education. The girls got married, and the boys secured private jobs. Last year, when life gradually returned to normal after the pandemic, they decided to expand their shop and borrowed another one lakh rupees. They repay the loan in affordable monthly instalments of Rs 5000/-. In addition to sustaining their livelihood, they get 2% profit from sales.
Now in their late fifties, Dinesh and Seetha cherish the peace and contentment they have found in their lives. Their shop has become a permanent source of income, providing them a sense of purpose and joy. They express immense gratitude to the Asha team for their unwavering support, guidance, and belief in their ability to rise from the ashes of adversity. Their inspiring journey is a testament to the indomitable human spirit. They have shown that one can transform the bleakest of circumstances into a life filled with hope, fulfilment, and gratitude with determination and resilience.