In rural Chhattisgarh in India only 51% of people can read and write. Poverty levels are high and many communities lack basic facilities such as toilets, clean water and electricity. Roads between villages are in poor condition, so that communities become isolated, and families are left to face the effects of poverty alone.
Like many of the women in her village Gulshan is a young mother. Unlike most she has been to both high school and college. She has a detailed understanding of the government services that her community are entitled to, and knows how they can access them. Gulshan works in a local information centre set up by Find Your Feet. The information centre provides leaflets, magazines and posters on topics such as nutrition, hygiene and childcare
I enjoy being a counsellor and getting to work with people in the community. It feels good to use my skills to support people who can’t read or write.
Gulshan spends two days a week at the information centre, where she welcomes people from surrounding villages, talks them through the services available and helps them to fill in application forms. This is vital in a community where many are illiterate. She supports each individual through the application process from start to finish, ensuring they receive what they are entitled to.
The other three days a week she spends travelling to the poorest and most isolated communities in the area, to tell people about the information centre, and to encourage them to visit.