A Day in the Life – Amudha

2 November, 2018
Photo: Lady Doak College

Amudha* is a 14-year-old student in 10th grade in a school located in a small rural area in Nagamalai Pudukottai, Madurai. She lives with her father, mother, sister, nephew, and niece.

Her parents used to work in Kerala. Her father’s hand was badly injured while plucking coconuts from a tree. The injury stopped him from working as a manual labourer.

While he was recovering, he could only work as a watchman, and her mother was obliged to take up construction work to take care of the financial needs of the family. They then migrated to Nagamalai Pudukottai in search of work. Now both her parents work on a construction site, her father’s injury having healed. Her mother earns Rs 350 and her father Rs 400 per day for the same work. Amudha’s mother has frequent knee and back pains due to long working hours.


Learn more about Amudha´s life in this video.


In spite of all the hard work her parents do, they are unable to afford a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder for cooking. Amudha’s family do not own a house. They live in a primitive shack next to a dried-up pond on wasteland owned by the local government. Due to a lack of toilet facilities, they are forced to defecate out in the open next to the pond. They get their electricity free by running off a connection from their neighbour. The meagre wages that they earn are not sufficient to pay rent and maintain a family of five. They live in fear of being evicted from their accommodations for not paying rent. Her family is in desperate need of a good house to live in.

Amudha’s day starts at 6 a.m. She helps her mother at home and then gets ready for school. She walks to school. The bicycle she received from the government needs repair, but there is no money for this. After school, she attends remedial classes until 9 p.m. She then goes back home and has her dinner. Later, she helps her mother wash the dishes and goes to sleep by 10 p.m. Amudha’s ambition in life is to become a doctor. Her mother lost two babies before Amudha was born as her mother had no access to medical facilities and gave birth at home. Amudha wants to help many rural women like her mother. She works hard to achieve this goal.

Amudha is poor according to the 2018 global MPI. The coloured boxes in the graphic show the deprivations she faces.


Photos: Lady Doak College

*Name has been changed.


Read 5th Dimensions Issue here.


India IPM