Salma's parents take delivery of a new rickshaw
I met Salma and her family one wet evening towards the end of the monsoon in October 2015. They live on the street under a shelter made of tarpaulin and other scavenged materials. It is no more than 2.5 metres long and a metre wide. Salma's mother cooks on a stove on the tiny patch of floor beween the two raised platforms which serve as beds, a sitting area and storage. Salma is14, but she is tiny and her torso is covered by burns from a cooking accident, a common occurence. She is one of Tiljala SHED's sponsored girls which means that she is supported to attend school and will continue to be supported (as long as funding remains available) until she completes her education.
Salma and her family live under the constant threat of having their home swept away: the owners of the building against which their home rests want to develop their property and have warned Salma's family they'll have to move on in 6 months. Salma's father is a rickshaw driver and her mother sells fruit from a tray at the side of the road. Watch the video to hear them talk about their lives.
Tiljala SHED are very keen to help this family as they are particularly vulnerable. In order to give Salma and her siblings the best chance in life, the family needs help to make itself more financially secure.
So, thanks to your generosity, this week Salma's father took delivery of his own rickshaw. This means that he no longer has to rent a rickshaw every day in order to ply his trade. He can choose where and when to work and what kind of loads to carry. He can even choose to rent the rickshaw out when he is not using it. Next week Salma's mother will get a handcart which will enable her to sell more products and to take her stall greater distances and to improve her income. Soon they will be able to pay rent for a home which they can call their own and not live in fear of being thrown onto the street.
Many other families received help from you this week: Ujala's father also received a new rickshaw; Halima has a new sewing machine to help her support her family with her tailoring business; you have helped Arifa's family get back on their feet after her father's business collapsed when his health failed.
Your donations have brought hope to some of Kolkata's most marginalised and forgotten people.
Ujala's Father with his new rickshaw
Thank every one of you who donated
Halima with her sewing machine