Swara: Positive and Very Hard Working
Today we introduce you to Swara Kadam, a member of Mumbai Smiles since 2017. She is a teacher in one of our kindergartens in Chheda Nagar.
How did you hear about Mumbai Smiles?
I have been working at Mumbai Smiles for 4 years, but my mother-in-law started working at the foundation earlier. She introduced me to the team and I really liked the work they were doing and I was lucky enough to join in 2017.
What is your work experience?
I am very grateful for what I am doing. Mumbai Smiles offers a nursery school for boys and girls from street families who do not have access to education or healthy food.
At Mumbai Smiles we offer an educational project along with health and nutritional program that offers healthy and fresh food.
My responsibility is to share knowledge with them, offer them a safe space and share the project with their families as well. For this, we have monthly meetings.
Currently, to face the pandemic, we also offer information about COVID19, how to protect yourself and especially about the vaccination process to have access to the free government vaccination program.
And also to process, when necessary, the identity document to be able to access the ration cards offered by the administration or have access to other types of procedures and services.
Many of the little ones at home have to witness family fights and breakups, and also their consequences. In these cases we also offer our support to both the boys and girls and their families in order to improve these situations.
What is your experience with COVID19? And what tasks are you developing in our campaign?
When the lockdown was imposed in March 2020 our beneficiaries were in shock and many of them had to leave their homes due to lack of work and food. Many landlords asked our beneficiaries to leave their homes due to not being able to pay their rent. Those who had no other place had to spend days at home without food, or work, and often without electricity for not paying bills.
During those days, in Mumbai Smiles we began to visit our beneficiary communities and other members of the community to inform about the coronavirus, its symptoms and prevention measures. We distributed food grain kits, masks, and hand sanitizers to all the members of the community.
Along with this, we began to learn how to record our educational videos for our kindergarten children so that they could continue learning. We maintained regular telephone contact with all our beneficiaries and we provided them all kinds of information and also we support them in mental health problems.
How has the Mumbai Smiles reacted to the second wave?
Since the second wave immerged, our responsibility increased. Although there is a government vaccination program, many of our beneficiaries are unaware of the vaccine, the program, and even the disease!
We believe that vaccination is the only way to alleviate the effects of COVID-19. Therefore, we focus on raising awareness about the vaccine, and its benefits. We are conducting door-to-door visits to meet not only our beneficiaries, but other community members and convince them to register for the vaccine. We are also helping them get their names registered so they can participate in the government’s free vaccination program. We are also conducting RT-PCR and Antigen testing on community members.
Do you like your job? Why?
Yes, I love my job. I am glad that I can do something for these helpless and unfortunate children and their parents. Their smiles give me motivation and satisfaction.
What is your message to the world?
I would say that change is the only constant thing in our life; hence, this difficult phase will also pass. Therefore, we must not stop fighting against all the negativity that we have around us and within us. One day we will achieve it!