Apnalaya, Our Space in English, is a non-profit organization, founded in 1973. We work with the most marginalized people living in highly under-served slums of Mumbai.
In 1947 when India became Independent, its average life expectancy was 32 years. By 2014 the national average had risen to 67 years. The life expectancy in M East ward, where we work at present, however, still hovers around 39 years (MHDR 2009). This is 7 years lower than that of Sierra Leone, a West African nation with the lowest life expectancy in the world (World Health Organization, 2013)!
The infant mortality rate in the area is 55, while the national rate is 41. Every second child is underweight. 88% of pregnant women in 2015-16 were anaemic. 53% girls do not have more than eight years of education. 68% of the families in the area buy drinking water. Only 13.7% females and 54.6% males are employed with majority working as casual labour. The average monthly income of a family is INR 7,802, i.e., about US$ 121 (Life on the Margin: Charting Realities, Apnalaya Studies, Series I).
The life in the M East ward of Mumbai is harsh; the challenges are many.