Rafi Nagar is a slum community in the heart of Mumbai. The people here, like any other part of the city are trying to make a life for themselves. Men and women who work all hours of the day to make sure the next generation gets a better start in life. Two such women are Mumtaz and Faimida. The mother-daughter duo aged 52 and 28 years respectively, run a crèche at their home looking after children from the age of 6 months to 6 years. They have undergone training in aspects of running a crèche such as proper child care, early childhood education and providing proper nutrition through Apnalaya’s Home-Based Crèche program. They have also been given teaching aids and equipment to make sure the children are well-engaged in activities through the day.
It is apparent to the residents of this community that both spouses need to work for families to earn enough. However, it is hard for women to commute to distant parts of the city leaving small children behind. This forces many of them to look for jobs within the community that don’t often pay well or ask their older children, typically girls to drop out of school just to care for their siblings.
The Home-Based Crèches offer a solution that give parents a safe place to leave their children so that they can go to work for longer hours and not compromise on the education of their older children as well.
Mumtaz who could not study after class 7, has seen great financial hardships and understands the struggle to meet basic needs that people in this community go through. She firmly believes that generations that follow should be able to do bigger things. This crèche gives her and Faimida a means of livelihood and a way to support other women and children in the community. They have been successfully looking after five children in their crèche since 2017. They enjoy playing with them, keeping them occupied through educational games and making sure they don’t miss their parents while they are away.