Manda Rammohan Rao -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Manda Rammohan Rao

Manda Rammohan Rao came to Lonavala with hopes of making a better life for her family. Life dealt its blows, but she never gave up hope. At the JCWP site in November, Manda’s longtime dream of owning a home will finally become a reality.

Manda moved to Lonavala from Hyderabad in 1980 with her husband and newborn daughter, Pushpa. They lived in a rental accommodation and earned their livelihood doing odd jobs.

Life dealt a cruel blow in 1987 when Manda’s husband died of a serious illness. In 1990, Manda moved to Karla Farm, a poultry operation, where she worked in the farm fields, earning as little as 3,000 rupees per month. Life was a struggle. She had to feed, clothe and support her four children as well as herself. But she never gave up. She was determined to educate her children.

Mada’s hard work has paid off. Her children are working farm jobs to provide supplemental income for the family, and two of her children are also attending college nearby. Pushpa, her eldest daughter, was married in 2002.

Manda currently works as a caretaker for a farmhouse at Karla Farm. She has been a member of a self-help group for one year. Her employers have kindly provided living accommodations on the premises for Manda and her children.

“We had no house before. Now I will have my own house. It will not be a rental place, but my own. Even a hut would have done as long as it was mine, but now I shall have a self-contained home of my own. My college-going children are happy now that they can say they have their own house,” Manda said.