My day in the life posts are one of my favourite types of posts to write and to read on other people’s blogs. Curiosity is such a huge part of human nature, especially about how the other lives. Today I wanted to offer you something different. A real view into a day in the life of someone whose life is so different to mine, and I suspect to yours. With the help of World Vision Australia I’m so honoured to share with you a day in the life of eight year old Prachi, who lives in a slum in Delhi, India.
7am Prachi wakes up, gets ready for school in her family’s one-bedroom home, after breakfast her mother Manju walks her to school.
8am School begins. Prachi is in the third grade, there are 25 students in her grade with one teacher for the primary level. Her favourite subject is English.
1pm Prachi returns home from school, washes her hands and gets ready for lunch, “I learned about hand washing with soap and its role in preventing waterborne diseases at LSTD” she explains. After lunch she sits at her favourite spot, the wide open and brightly sun-lit terrace and finishes her homework.
2pm-4pm (six days a week) Prachi attends classes conducted by World Vision India. Prachi is a regular for the remedial classes, the Life School for Transformational Development (LSTD) classes and the Right to Education workshops.
After the classes Prachi returns home and spends the remainder of the afternoon playing at home. Her favourite game is carom board. Many children are confined to playing in their homes, “one of the major needs for children in the community is a safe place to play as there is no playground or park nearby” explains Manju. There is a general fear among parents and children of the unsavoury influences outside the home. With the help of World Vision India, women in the community have become motivated to come out of their homes, attend self-help group meetings and actively participate in decision making.
Even Prachi’s older sister Pooja who is in the 11th grade echoes the sentiments shared by her mother, “I used to be scared of walking in our neighbourhood streets due to the local goons but through the self-defense course [karate] organised by World Vision India in collaboration with the Delhi Police; I am very confident in protecting myself and the police have set up special support for women in the police-stations. If I see any suspicious people, I dial 100 (police helpline) or 1098 (child helpline).” Pooja wants to become a policewoman. Prachi has also expressed interested in learning self-defence but unlike her sister, she wants to become a doctor and help patients from poor neighbourhoods.
6pm Prachi gets comfortable in front of the TV watching Cartoon Network
8pm The family have dinner
9pm Prachi is off to bed
As I put this post together I couldn’t help but think how lucky Prachi is (does that seem horrible to you? Let me explain). Her day seemed no different to school-attending children in many of the Pacific countries I’ve had experience in. But then I remember she lives in a slum. While I’ve had no experience in Indian slums I have worked in slums in Fiji and there are very few similarities between Prachi’s day and the day of the slum-dwelling children in Fiji that I’ve worked with. The difference is actually quite stark. The reasons for the differences I think go back to the presence of organisations like World Vision in these communities. The work they do and the support they provide especially in relation to education, safety and empowering women actually transform communities and allow children like Prachi to have these experiences.
If you’re curious and would like you find out more, I encourage you to have a look at the World Vision website, there’s a wealth of information about their programs and issues facing children like Prachi on there. There are a multitude of ways you can get involved, either as an individual or with a community via financial assistance or otherwise. Every level of engagement and involvement makes a difference.