Almel Priya Swami, 18 years old

Born to an alcoholic father and a domestic helper mom, Almel lost her father to liver damage and lived in a house that lacked even the most basic amenities like light and gas.  Struggling to keep the family of three afloat, Almel’s aged mother worked at two local homes and would often take her to help her out.

Almel and her sibling both went to school and were bright students. Studious and well behaved, Almel took a keen interest in maths and harboured dreams of being a teacher but her home environment was not a nurturing one. Had things continued in the same path she would have been forced to drop out of school to help her mother and work as a domestic helper. But the Trust stepped in and made her a beneficiary at Anando in 2006. Initially she would sit quietly in the back bench and not participate, but this changed after a year of constantly attending workshops and being with the LOLT team. She started making friends and participating in the workshops, group sessions and presentations. She even moved up to the first bench and the change in her confidence level and communication skills were evident for all to see.

Thinking about her future, she enrolled in a hospitality management course. From a girl with low communication skills, she is now fluent in English and an inspiration to those in her college. She has hopes and dreams for a bright future and is currently working at Fariyas Hotel in Lonavala as a cook.