CEO, Mumbai Mobile Creches
For ten-year-old Vidya*, life at a construction site in Mumbai was a daunting experience. Vidya comes from a remote village in Maharashtra and her family, like many other migrant families had come to Mumbai in search of better job opportunities. Today her parents work as unskilled labourers at a construction site in Mumbai.
Going to school was a lost dream for Vidya. Her parents being new to the city were reluctant to send her to a school, more so as they could only converse in Marathi whereas the nearest school taught in Hindi. It was at this point that the family heard of Mumbai Mobile Creches, an NGO that works specifically for the children of construction workers.
Mumbai Mobile Creches (MMC) focuses on the development of a model of comprehensive child care and works in close partnerships with the parents, the construction industry, labour communities, and government agencies to promote child rights. MMC has come a long way in 42 years and today reaches out to 4500 children in Mumbai.
MMC was a god-send for Vidya. With their monthly Chai-Paani meetings they not only assisted Vidya in getting enrolled in a school, but also provided her after-school support and assistance in learning Hindi, helping her realise her dream of getting an education and learning alongside other children.
It is often the case that NGOs like MMC need legal assistance in the course of their work but lack the financial and human resources to meet these needs in-house. iProbono connected MMC with a prominent law firm, Platinum Partners who have assisted them with the various legal aspects of their work. Projects include formulating policies, agreements and MoUs on a number of issues from volunteer and donor agreements to their photography policy and the use of MMC's logo by sponsors etc.
“iProbono are of great support and always prompt in their responses. We completed six projects with their help. They connected us to Platinum Partners and we soon had a team of legal professionals drafting policies and improving our effectiveness,” says Vrishali Pispati, CEO of Mumbai Mobile Creches.
“Lawyers have historically played an integral role in their communities, guiding civil society and citizens in their interactions with the legal system. Somewhere down the line, this tradition has weakened but the passion of lawyers to contribute could not be stronger. In the ever complicated and remote legal landscape, iProbono is able to bridge the gap between civil society and the providers of quality legal services,” says Shireen Irani, Executive Director of iProbono.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy