‘We don’t have a light or water connection in our home, not even a toilet. We worry a lot when they break our homes, because we don’t have money to build new ones’, says 10 year old Ganesh Jha of Ambujwadi, Malad, Mumbai who smiles even at the thought of a ‘dream home’.
Listen to his video story, or read the transcript below.
My name is Ganesh. I am 10-years-old. I am about to start fifth grade.
4 of us live at home: my grandmother, father, mother, and myself.
There isn’t a single source of light at home. We don’t have running water, nor do we have a toilet.
Evictions have a very bad effect on people. When our houses get broken down, it’s stressful because we have to build them again and we lack the money to do so. We don’t have bricks or cement to make houses. If we don’t have a place to stay, then it’s hard to make money. The school teachers ask for fees, but how can we pay when we have no money? That’s how our education is disrupted.
Some adults that we don’t know often ask children to do some work for them, but how can we work for them if we don’t know them? They hit children and force them to work when the children refuse.
Bal Adhikar Sangharsh Sangatan (BASS) was created to put a stop to child labour and other ills. Children are made to do things like lifting heavy objects. We even observe violence against children. At BASS, we share our problems, such as lack of facilities at our houses, to spread awareness so that we can take action.
An ideal home
My dream home is a bungalow with rooms for every member of my family. There will be toilets with running water and a playground outside with trees in it.
#UprootedChildhoods is a collaboration between YUVA and Leher, attempting to spark dialogue on a critical yet oft invisibilised concern — the views of children on housing. The campaign draws from YUVA’s in-depth interventions with children over the years across cities, and Leher’s focus and commitment to child rights, with a preventive approach towards child protection.