Voices & Faces

Mangal Jagannath Gaikwad

Mangal Gaikwad resides in a slum in Aundh. The difference that her involvement in door-step collection and in the Union made to her life is presented in her own words. "Today I earn RsRs.3000 from doorstep collection and the sale of scrap. The residents in the area who used to frown at me while I was at the garbage bin, now know my name and greet me. A resident gave me a second hand bicycle. I had never ridden one before. Today, I ride to work on that cycle. When I was a child I used to envy the children who went to school with their bags and water-bottles while I had to go waste picking. Since my work day is shorter now I was able to attend the literacy class in my slum. I am now literate. I am the Treasurer of the credit co-operative and the representative for my slum. I used to be terrified of my abusive alcoholic husband. Twice I sent him to a de-addiction centre. He stopped for a while but continues to drink. I am no longer terrified of him. I do not give him money to drink. I have bought a bigger house for Rs.65000 from my savings and a loan I took from the credit co-operative".