Bhimabai Vitthal Pardhi could barely believe her eyes when her dream for a decent home was shaped in front of her. Bhimabai, a resident of Bangarwadi, a remote village in Karjat (Maharashtra) is a widow with three children. She has no source of regular income after her husband’s death in 2011. Her husband, Vitthal Pardhi was a farmer. Due to lack of sufficient income, he took to alcohol to forget his burdens. Soon he fell ill and was unable to earn for his family. VItthal eventually succumbed to his illness, leaving his family to fend for themselves. To support her children, Bhimabai had to vacate her house and had to move in with her in-laws.
Gradually Bhimabai took on the responsibility of her farm was able to take care of her children independently. When she heard that the volunteers from Habitat for Humanity India are coming together to build her house, she couldn’t curtail her excitement. “I have been waiting since the time Habitat first came to our village to help people build houses. Finally, I will have my own house.”
Every year, Habitat for Humanity India hosts volunteers from across the world to support families in need of decent housing. 20th January 2018 saw the largest wave of volunteers from different corporates coming together to build houses for families in Bangarwadi in Karjat. Over 200 employees from Altisource Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Samsung C&T and Willis Towers Watson Mumbai, along with 50 villagers joined hands with Habitat India to build houses for nine families in the village. Volunteers dug the foundation of the houses, laid bricks to build walls and painted some houses in Bangarwadi.
As the day progressed, the entire village was in a festive mood. The volunteers were tired after a long day of toil, but their faces had a sense of satisfaction and pride.
“We are so used to a life of comfort that it is next to impossible to believe that people actually live in such difficult situations. Someone else built the house that I live in the urban jungle, but it is a different feeling today when I am actually putting bricks for someone else’s house. I am happy my small action will bring a difference to Bhimabai’s life,” said an enthralled Yusuf Sheikh from Willis Towers Watson, Mumbai while working on Bhimabai’s house.
Rajan Samuel, Managing Director – Habitat for Humanity India mentioned, “The sense of happiness and satisfaction on the faces of 250 people was to be seen to be believed. A house gives the greatest sense of security and shortage of affordable houses is an acute challenge in India. I am glad that the initiative of
‘Housing for All by 2022’ is helping the poor. All of us including the government, corporate world, non-government organisations and the communities need to join hands to ensure that our Honourable Prime Minister’s dream comes true and more people like Bhima get a decent house.”
The day culminated with 250 content faces and a colourful
Bangarwadi village. The ‘build’ is part of Habitat’s annual youth campaign – ‘Habitat Young Leaders Build’ that brings together youngsters across the country to support families in need of decent housing. Young people volunteer, fundraise and speak out for the need for decent homes as a way out of poverty and toward self-sustainability. The campaign motivates youth to take the lead in building homes and communities, on a Habitat ‘build site’ and/or online through their social networks.
To know more visit www.habitatindia.in