The feet of the villagers of Mirzapur’s Bahari Jungle Mahal have a story to tell. Scarred with corns, bruises, cuts and injuries, they have no protection from the scorching ground.

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With a meagre earning of Rs 100 per day, these labourers work in the forest and stone quarries around the region. They only earn enough to buy food.

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Slippers are a distant dream for these labourers.

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Let alone men, even the children and women are not spared. While the children walk to school on hot ground, the women walk miles on the burning earth to fetch water from the wells.

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A Banaras-based law graduate Divyanshu Upadhyay wants to change this narrative. At the helm of affairs at the Hope Welfare Trust which he started in 2015, Divyanshu wants to make slippers accessible to these labourers.

And he needs your help.

“The terrain here is harsh. There are a lot of mountains and stones that these people have to navigate every day when they go to work in the mines, the forest, and stone casting sites,” he says.

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“A pair of slippers costs Rs 100. With the donations, we will be able to buy slippers and distribute them to the labourers and their children,” Divyanshu adds.

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He adds that the slipper drive will not just be a boon for the labourers, but also for the village women who manufacture these slippers in a small factory in Mirzapur’s Deura.

These women belong to the ‘Green Army’ — an arm of the Hope Welfare Trust that is empowering the women of Uttar Pradesh’s villages. Through the years, the Green Army has grown from 25 women to its present total of 2,200 women spread across 250 villages of the state.

Making slippers is how they earn their livelihood and your donation will help them sustain. One of their livelihood centres is the shoe factory in Deura.

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