An organisation that withdraws from communities as it makes them self-sustaining
My visit to Apnalaya was a cultural learning as much as a sociological one. The organisation works with slum communities and one of its centers is in the Govandi slums; which one needs to get to by passing by the infamous Deonar dumping grounds. As I travelled from CST to Govandi, I could distinctly tell how the landscape of the city was changing. Slowly and steadily, wide roads and high rises disappeared and I found myself in the midst of narrow lanes, strewn with garbage, all in the monsoon rain.
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How it all began at Apnalaya
Apnalaya originally began as the Holland Welfare Centre, named after the then Australian Consul General in Bombay, Tom Holland. This was back in 1973. A really-hard-to-believe photograph shows how the center stood where the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) stands today! It was a day care centre for laborers’ children in Nariman Point. Moved by the poor living conditions of children in the area, Mr. Tom Holland along with his wife June began providing daycare so that the kids could be well-cared for while their parents were away at work.