Durga Kashale (37) and Kondibhau (45) live in Dehane village, Khed Block in Pune district, Maharashtra. Together they have two children Varsha (9) and Arjun (6) who study in the local village government school.
Kondibhau has had a hearing disability since childhood. It has affected his speech and also his ability to communicate, and therefore his parents never pushed him to finish his education.
“We don’t have enough resources for my husband’s treatment or to buy a hearing aid for him. Because of his hearing loss, people have stopped giving him work. We have to manage our household expenses within the meagre salary I get,” says Durga who is the sole breadwinner of the family. She works in a restaurant nearby earning INR 3000 per month.
She adds, “Our old home was constructed by my in-laws. It was a house built with mud, stones but without a strong roof. As Dehane is located in a hilly region, the village experiences heavy rainfall. As a result, every monsoon the roof used to leak. With our limited resources we could not do much. All the homes in our neighbourhood are getting reconstructed. My children would feel bad looking at the state of our home.”
In addition to their poor housing condition, Durga and her family did not have access to a sanitation unit or water. She would fetch water from the handpump nearby and store this in her utensils. The home lacked a constant supply of electricity too - Durga would share the electric bill with her neighbours and get limited electricity for the entire home.
In October 2021, Habitat for Humanity India began the second phase of the Life’s Good: Hope Village project supported by LG Electronics and Community Chest of Korea. In phase II, Habitat India aimed to build 5 new homes and 1 school sanitation unit. An initial survey of the households was conducted in Dehane and Durga was selected along with four other families.
The construction of new homes with the families was completed in September 2022, equipped with sanitation units, bathrooms and solar lighting systems to tackle the issues of hygiene and electricity supply. Durga and 4 other families moved into their new homes in a dedication ceremony on 28th September 2022. Additionally, a 260-square-feet sanitation complex was handed over to the Dehane Zilla Parishad School which benefits 101 students and teachers.
“I have no words to tell you how much happy I am! My kids just can’t believe that we have a new, permanent, concrete home. Now I can focus on the growth of my children and my husband’s treatment. I want to give my children quality education and a better life. I truly believe that when one wishes to aspire or achieve something in life, it may come late but it will come to us one day,” says Durga with a smile on her face.
Habitat India partnered with LG Electronics in October 2020 for the first phase of the Life’s Good: Hope Village project in Kharoshi village located in Khed block of Pune district, Maharashtra. Through this project, Habitat India developed the villages through the construction of 12 new homes equipped with sanitation units and solar home lighting systems, 15 individual household latrines, installation of solar streetlights in 6 locations and infrastructure development for Kharoshi’s Zilla Parishad School. The first phase of the project was completed in September 2021 and the village improved holistically through healthy homes, sanitation units for families and schools and access to solar energy.
In the second phase of the project, which was implemented between October 2021 and September 2022 in Dehane village, 5 new homes equipped with sanitation units, bathrooms and solar lighting systems have been handed over to 5 low-income families. Additionally, a 260-square-feet sanitation complex was handed over to the Dehane Zilla Parishad School.