The best way to understand the extent of deprivation and exclusion that exists in M East Ward, is to see it first-hand. As such, Apnalaya organizes a variety of exposure visits for people from all walks of life, so they can comprehend the daily struggle for survival and understand issues affecting the Urban Poor. Recently, a couple of Partners and Dignitaries visited Shivaji Nagar with Apnalaya:
Sophie, Countess of Wessex – On 1 May, the HRH Countess of Wessex, visited Apnalaya’s Padma Nagar centre at Shivaji Nagar to understand the impact of the CareMother App and how it captures cases of high-risk pregnancies, reducing maternal mortality. The Countess interacted with pregnant women and community health workers from M East Ward. CareMother, the mobile App, provides real time support to pregnant women (who would otherwise not have been reached) with timely antenatal check-ups and follow-up visits at their homes by health workers.
Debbie Dreyfuss – Development Manager, Epic Foundation – On 27th June, Debbie visited our office, to get an in-depth understanding of the workings of the organisation. She was scheduled to visit the centres in Shivaji Nagar but was not able to do so because of the rains. However, Debbie interacted with the Khula Aasmaan mentors, who were undergoing a training session on the Indian Constitution at the time. She chatted with them about Kabaddi and how the Khula Aasmaan programme has helped them. The mentors were keen to know Debbie’s profession and how women were treated in London (where she works). “I was really impressed meeting the girls. You can see how empowered they are and how confidently they talk about the programme,” Debbie said. “I hadn’t realised how deep Apnalaya’s work goes, and in how many different levels the work supports residents in M East Ward – I was really impressed,” she added.
James Middleton – Vice Consul, Australian Consulate-General, Mumbai – On 17th June, James Middleton visited our Rafi Nagar health centre where he interacted with many volunteers, youth and adults. He also met with our Khula Aasmaan mentors and chatted with them about issues of governance and gender. “It has been an absolute honour to meet these people who have been associated with Apnalaya, particularly these girls who are part of the Kabaddi programme. It is really inspiring to listen to their dreams and witness their enthusiasm,” he said.
Christopher Ellinger – Deputy Consul General, Australian Consulate-General Mumbai – On 29th March, Chris visited Apnalaya and its various centres in Shivaji Nagar. He met with the staff and volunteers from the Education and Livelihoods programme as well as the Health and Disability programme. He took particular interest in the Community Childcare Centre at Padma Nagar, where he chatted with the two women running the Centre and interacted with the children.