Manisha (46), spent 15 years living in a rented kutcha house with her husband Vitthal, daughter Payal, and son Sameer, facing daily struggles without a toilet, enduring leakages, and illness. Her husband suffers from a physical disability. With that he fought to earn a living for the family. He worked till he could, but now he is unable to do so. For a long time, Manisha has been the only earning member of the family.

"Our daughter Payal was born many years after our marriage. When she was about 4 years old, she had high fever. It resulted in developmental disability. Among all the challenges I had to face while taking care of her, we faced a lot of discrimination from our neighbours due to my daughter’s condition. Our rented house did not have a toilet, forcing us to defecate in the open. My husband and daughter would face difficulties. They would often fall sick during the monsoon. My husband’s hand and feet would go numb often. We did not have access to water as well. As my daughter was growing up, I was always worried about her safety. I wanted to have a home where she would be safe, and my entire family would be safe,” says Manisha.

She further adds, “I did not have the courage to leave my daughter and husband all by themselves. So, I had to make sure I work in places that were close to our house. It was very challenging to run the house in the meagre earning that I made. We have had days when I wasn’t able to earn anything and had to rely solely on the food that our neighbours would lend us. We have even had days when we couldn’t even eat once in a day. When my son grew up, he started working as a truck driver and helped me run the house.

Habitat for Humanity India partnered with Manisha to help her build a new home. Construction began in September 2023 and in March 2024 Manisha's family moved into their new home.

"For me, home is happiness. I feel everyone should have a home. We are very happy that this house is ours. I worked very hard on the construction of the house - from carrying stones and sand for the foundation, to watering the walls of our house. I cooked and helped the workers with everything. I faced many hurdles, but I managed to cross all of them.

“With a roof over our head, I don’t have to worry about my daughter’s safety. The safety that this home provides is the biggest relief for me.” - Manisha.