Pratibha Patil is on the threshold of creating history as the first woman President of India. Regardless of whether or not she is able to reach that lofty goal, for 250 inmates and 29 staff members of the Shram Sadhana Bombay Trust Working Women's Hostel she will always be known as the loving Pratibha 'Tai.'
The hostel inmates and staff are on cloud nine ever since the United Progressive Alliance nominated their 'Tai' (elder sister) for the post of President. At this moment, the odds heavily favour Pratibha, currently the Governor of Rajasthan.
Though she has eluded the spotlight unlike her counterparts, Pratibha 'Tai' has never shied away from social service and issues of women empowerment. The Shram Sadhana Bombay Trust, started by this 72-year-old-lady exemplifies her social commitment and the strong support she has extended to women.
The trust runs the Working Women's Hostel at Bandra (East) in Mumbai, which is a blessing for middle-class women who come to this city of dreams to make a living.
Reportage & photographs: Binoy Valsan
Also see: Profile: UPA prez nominee Pratibha Patil