"I have been living in Dharavi for a decade now. When I got here, things were difficult for us financially and I didn't want to sit at home and depend on my husband for everything so I began to look for work. The work I found involved separating plastic from other waste and then giving it to companies to make things like plastic glasses or ice cream cups. Back then I would make 50 Rupees a day, but today I make 200 Rupees a day. Sometimes I have had to overcome breathing problems because we're always around waste, but I continued to do it for my children.
It would be very easy to feel sympathetic and sorry for myself, but that isn't what life is about. Instead, I do everything I can to make myself happy while continuing to work. Dharavi, has given me a home, work and my children the opportunity to study. More importantly, I met more women like me who were struggling but didn't want to sit at home and not do anything about it. The highlight of my day is meeting my friends, chatting endlessly and gossiping about everything! Every tea break when we sit together, there's so much noise from our laughter that the men often get annoyed--but we still don't care! So, I'm very happy with my life -- my 200 rupees/day makes a difference, and that's all that matters."