30 year old Sunita Londhe is an Assistant Teacher in one of the Mumbai Smiles Preschool Education Centres and combined with her husband’s salary (who works as an office boy in a corporate), her monthly income is Rs. 18,500 today which lets her and her husband lead a dignified life in one of the slum communities in Powai, Mumbai. But her life was not always as comfortable as it is today and having crossed all the hardships to reach this level of comfort, Sunita is happy to have come across Mumbai Smiles.
“My husband and I live alone and our extended family lives in our native village,So that way we do not have too much pressure and responsibilities. But with my husband’s salary of just Rs. 10,000 and my earlier job as a domestic help in some houses, life was a struggle in a city like Mumbai, where making two ends meet is a challenge,” remembers Sunita of her days two years ago before she started working at Mumbai Smiles. “Mumbai Smiles had recently opened a preschool centre in my community and they were hiring new teachers. I personally know some of the teachers who have worked in other centres of the preschool program and I knew that they provide extensive training to the prospective teachers and gives them a decent salary as well. My friends and husband encouraged me and I applied for the job.” Soon after the training, Sunita bagged the job of Assistant Teacher and is now a very happy person!
“My life has changed completely post my association with Mumbai Smiles! My husband and I have been trying to have a child for quite some time but due to some medical difficulties we are unable to conceive. Both my husband and I have been upset about it but when I spend time at the preschool everyday, meeting these wonderful children, taking care of them, teaching them stories, poems, songs, manners, good habits and also playing with them, I forget all my sorrows and I share these stories with my husband as well.”
It is indeed a miracle of life that for someone like Sunita, who was craving to have one child in her life, is now responsible for 31 students everyday. “I feel so proud to be called a teacher. These children give me so much love and their parents treat me with utmost respect that I have no emptiness in my life anymore. These children give me the strength to move on in life and accept my fate with a smiling face. I am satisfied.”
Sunita has been an extremely positive influence on the students, as all our other preschool teachers and we are super proud of her and thankful to her for taking care of 31 members of the future generation of Mumbai!