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The stories below are from people we work with to create lasting change.

Anusaya is sixty-five, and has been widowed for eleven years. She moved with her husband, two daughters and a son (who died of alcohol-related problems) to the Dehu Road cantonment in 1972 when a drought forced them to migrate into the city.

Satish has been attending the Open School in Amravati for a year, and is learning to improve his Marathi and English language skills. He also enjoys having time to play. He had previously dropped out of mainstream school because he was being bullied.

Krishna is forty, but looks older after years of hard physical work. He is a field labourer close to the Karuna-funded ‘Bhaja Rural Retreat Centre’, where his wife Nanda is the cook.

Suman, 41, recalls how as a child the Takare community was considered so polluted, that to touch them brought shame upon other villages. From a young age Suman resisted this: “I always tried to fight against this inhuman system.”

Jana Bhaydade sits in her small, one-room hut, surrounded by packets of herbs and spices that she sells wholesale across Pune.

When Vinay walks to Bhaja from the train, listening to the birds singing and the trees rustling in the breeze, he feels he is moving from darkness into light.

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