NI women help rehouse Indian family

Published Tuesday, 29 April 2014
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An Indian mother, who dreamed of bringing up her children in a home that wasn't a shack, has had her wish come true thanks to a group of women from Northern Ireland.

NI women help rehouse Indian family
Shabnam speaks to UTV reporter Judith Hill. (© UTV)

UTV reporter Judith Hill spent a week in Savda Ghevra, a slum an hour's drive from the centre of Delhi, as part of a team of volunteers with the Habitat for Humanity charity.

She said the week was really about the group going to Delhi to work beside women, and standing with them to help them change their world.

Mother-of-seven Shabnam was forced to live in squalid conditions with her husband and children after they were evicted from a city centre slum and forced to go to another more remote one.

Her shack was made of bamboo and plastic sheets and flooded regularly. It had no electricity or running water.

Speaking of her eviction, she told UTV: "It was a very traumatic experience. We were evacuated, put in a truck and brought here. There were very few families, no water and no schools for three years."

Habitat's dream and drive is that everyone deserves a secure place to live. Shabnam and her family worked alongside the NI team to ensure this happened.

Brick by brick, the house went up.

Shabnam's new home has its own toilet - that's in contrast to 70 per cent of homes in the Savda Ghevra slum which do not.

Many people there use an open defecation site.

"It is like a dream now. I kept chasing my dream and now the day has arrived that I have started my own house."

In a matter of days, the home she waited three years for is completed.

Made of brick, her much bigger, two bedroom home has windows and a septic tank.

Just along the street from Shabnam, a new house has brought new business opportunities.

Before, Geeta had cooked on the floor, but thanks to her new home, she now has a kitchen. It has allowed her food stall business to flourish.

"It is good for stable life moving forward. We could not in the shack. We needed a new house. It had to happen."

Two families now with new hope.

However, Judith said that as one home goes up, the need of the next stares you in the face.

© UTV News
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1 Comments
bigmac in Belfast wrote (234 days ago):
Well done Ms Hill this is the sort of story we should be reading about in N.I someone doing something positive
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