It turned out to be the worst decision of her life. On Monday night, Sona Shaikh, 30, decided that she and her three young children would sleep on the side of the road rather than their shanty as it was very hot.
The shanty, which is constructed on the pavement outside the Atlas Mill compound in Reay Road (West), was stuffy and suffocating, and Shaikh had taken to sleeping on the roadside whenever it was hot.
Shaikh was a single mother and used to fend for herself and her three children — Lubna, 10, Shabana, 6 and Yasin, 2 — after her husband left her a couple of years ago. Shaikh struggled to feed her children by working as a domestic help, said residents of the Sainath slum area where her shanty was located.
“After Sona’s husband left her, she was shattered and did not know what to do. But after a few days, she gathered herself and decided it was not the end of life,” said a neighbour, who refused to be identified. “She used to work really hard and struggled to ensure that her children did not starve.”
Her neighbours said Shaikh and her children had been sleeping at the same spot on the side of the road for several days. “We are now scared to sleep on the road,” said another neighbour, who did not wish to be named.