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Sridevi and Malinath -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Sridevi and Malinath

Sridevi Upase lives at Karla Farms with her husband Malinath and their two children. Malinath is a veterinary supervisor at the farms, where he has been employed for the past 19 years. Currently, Malinath earns 4,000 rupees per month.

Their children are studying at the local high schools in Lonavala. Priyanka, 13, is completing her ninth standard at VPS high school. Creative and talented, Priyanka loves making stuffed toys of various shapes and sizes. Pushpak, 10, studies in the fifth standard at Bon Bosco high school.

After they were married 14 years ago, Sridevi joined her husband in his staff living quarters at Karla Farms. Previously there were 12 poultry farms, but slowly they have been shutting down, and now only two exist. Malinath is at risk of losing his job when the last two farms shut down. Although he will receive a pension in the form of a package lump sum, the family’s major concern is the loss of their living quarters.

“We can find new jobs, do hard work and make ends meet, but how would we be able to afford a roof over our heads?” said Sridevi. “Our budget would never have made it possible for us to afford a house. Instead, we are lucky to get such a beautiful home at a reasonable rate.”

Both Sridevi and Malinath feel that JCWP is an answer to their prayers.

“We have no words to describe how we feel. Our prayers have been answered. We didn’t know what we would do once we lost our quarters. We will never forget this blessing till our death.”

Sridevi said that the children are excited about the house, too, as they will have ample space to play.

Between them, Sridevi and Malinath have already completed their 300 hours of sweat-equity. They are willing to put in more hours, and are excited about working during JCWP. They are grateful for the Habitat for Humanity International staff members who are with them daily on site.

“Joy Madam has given us a lift to the site so often,” said Sridevi. “If there is no place in the truck she even gets down and walks while she sends us ahead. Joy, Katie and Denise Madams are so nice and patient with us. They have really taught us a lot on the job.”