This is the story of 105-year-old Akhila and her 80-year-old son Ismail who reside within the tiny lanes of Asha’s Seelampur slum community. Their lives have been filled with constant sorrow and pain as this mother and son duo have suffered a lot at the hands of fate. Today, only Asha stands beside them emotionally supporting them and providing them with the necessary provisions to survive each day.
It has been more than 40 years that Akhila settled down in Seelampur. She had come to Delhi from the state of Uttar Pradesh with her 5 children, searching for her husband who had absconded for a year. She soon came to know from her sources that her husband had left her for another woman. Akhila was desperate and hopeless. Akhila and her children had no financial support and had to fend for themselves, picking up odd jobs to earn a meagre sum, just so they could survive.
Over the years, with tremendous hard work and dedication Akhila and her 2 eldest sons were able to build a home for themselves in Seelampur. Akhila also managed to get her 3 daughters married off. Time passed and Akhila became a grandmother, life was going fairly well for her family, until disaster struck.
One night, Akhila’s house came falling down, she lost everything overnight. Akhila’s neighbours had been building another floor on top of their three-storey home, this was illegal and highly risky. The newly constructed floor was unstable and fell down on Akhila’s family home. Her younger son and his daughter died as this floor fell in the kitchen. Akhila and her eldest son managed to survive as they were sleeping on the roof top.
Homeless and alone, Akhila and her eldest son had no one to turn to. At such a time, the Asha team in Seelampur heard about their troubles and rushed to help. The Asha team and Women’s group in Seelampur continuously made visits to the MLA office to make sure that Akhila and her son receive a room they can call home once again. Due to Asha’s resilient efforts, Akhila and her son received a 1 room house to shift into. They slowly started to settle down and lead their lives with the help of Asha.
The pandemic made the situation worse for Akhila and her son. Hunger was a prominent issue as this mother and son duo struggled to eat one time meal a day. To make matters worse, Ismail had started to develop mental issues since the past few years that aggravated during the lockdown. He has developed very high anger issues and has become disturbed mentally. Even the neighbours and children in the area are very scared of him and maintain their distance.
Asha made sure to provide Akhila and Ismail with food kits, cash and medicines through the Asha corona warriors in Seelampur. This helped this poor mother and son to survive some of the most difficult days during the lockdown. Asha has continued to provide monthly food kits to them till today as they are completely helpless and alone. Without Asha, Akhila and Ismail would be living in the streets today.
The Asha team in Seelampur have been taking extra care of Akhila and Ismail, making sure that the both of them complete their weekly visits to the Asha clinic for their checkups. Both Akhila and Ismail are also being counseled and motivated by the Asha team to register and receive the vaccination. The Asha corona warriors too make the extra effort to spend quality time with Akhila and have formed a deep bond with her. Today, Akhila cannot imagine her life without the Asha team in Seelampur. She is very grateful for Asha and hopes that Asha will continue to help poor souls like her.
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