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Leela Purukesam

Player Number 3

Location: Canal Colony, Kochi

Pay close attention to the rules and conditions mentioned below, it is crucial that you play your turn accordingly. Do not reveal or mention these rules to the other players.

  • During your turn, all three dice are rolled once by the facilitator.

  • You will move forward the value of your second highest die. For example, if you get 4, 3, 6 - you will move forward 4 tiles. 


Who is Leela?

I am a 10-year-old girl and I live with my invalid grandfather in a single-room tenement next to a very polluted canal. I work as a rag picker in the town. I went to school till class 3. I liked school, made many friends there. But then both my parents died in a train accident. They were on their way back from a family wedding when their train derailed due to faultily repaired train tracks. Since then, I have been living with my grandfather. We didn’t even get any compensation from the government or the Railways for my parents' death. My grandfather used to work as a daily labourer in the asbestos factory nearby. But the constant asbestos exposure damaged his lungs, and he starts panting even if he walks a little. He can’t work now. So I had to leave school to work and earn money.


My grandfather tells me that when he and my grandmother first moved to this colony, they used to get their water from the canal for cooking and drinking. But now the canal is a sewage dump for the middle-class houses and hotels upstream, which empty their sewage directly into the canal. Even the few houses in the colony that have bathrooms empty their pipes directly into the canal.


I miss my family a lot. But more than my parents, I miss my twin sister Meera. She made the mistake of drinking the canal water when we were 5 years old and visiting my grandparents. It proved fatal. I was so sad. I wish she were here to keep me company

My day begins by going to fetch water, sometimes this can take up to two hours as we can’t afford to pay the water tanker that comes near the colony. I walk to a hand pump which is a few kilometres away, and bring one bucket of water each day, with great difficulty. I hope to grow up quickly so that I can carry two or more buckets every day. 

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