Their 40 sq metre (400 sq ft) home in Kurla East stands huddled among the 800 or so brick, tin sheet and tarpaulin houses of Qureshi Nagar, the entire shanty town trembling when a train roars past on a nearby railway line.
Once on the housekeeping staff at a hospital and later a domestic help who washed utensils and floors, Khan is now without work, income or savings. To keep tensions and arguments in her overcrowded home to a minimum, she waits every morning and evening for a small package of food from a community kitchen operated by a women’s savings group.
Khan has been entirely dependent on food aid since the kitchen was launched in April to supply free meals to the slum’s impoverished, jobless residents. She comes every day, for lunch and dinner for herself and her two daughters, aged 10 and 11 months.