Finding hope in India’s slums

Join us on a journey into India and meet little Champa.

Back to all stories | Posted on 07 Aug 2017 in Blog

In a hot and crowded slum in the south of Delhi in India, a small girl comes to meet us wearing a bright smile and her best dress. She holds her most prized possession – a fan found among piles of litter. “I hope to find batteries for it… one day,” she tells us.

Champa doesn’t know her age, but her teachers think she is five. She lives next to a wealthy area but, her home, is a rubbish dump. In India, inequality like this is rife; the country’s caste system means that those born into poverty have few opportunities. 

Even in the squalor of her surroundings, it’s here that Champa finds her happiness – with her family in their small home made of tin, and in the nearby informal education centre where Mary’s Meals offers hope, and the chance to learn. 

Champa and her little sister are among the lucky few who go to school, in a country where girls’ education is often discouraged. “It’s difficult for girls because people don’t want them to get educated, which is very sad,” Champa says. “Some children stay home but my father does not encourage this and he doesn’t want us to pick rubbish either. My father has dreams for us!” 

Despite her hardships, Champa is happy. She has a loving family, and – thanks to your support – this little girl has big dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up.

“I’m very happy Mary’s Meals has come," Champa beams. “Having food here really keeps us wanting to come to school. We all have hope that we can become something.”