It all began with a dream and a determined 18-year-old girl. The big change in Shaheen's life came when, after living abroad all her life, she came to Mumbai on a holiday. And stayed, giving up an education in Boston in exchange for a desire to try and educate others. Perhaps it was the incongruity between her life and those of slum-dwellers and their children that made her break ties with her past life. "I was curious about life in a slum," says Shaheen who signed up for a BA in Sociology from St Xavier's College. "I was keen to understand the city instead of just going from college to home." So while friends spent time over coffee in the college canteen, this girl from Connecticut was spending her spare time in slums. "It amazed me that young people had so much time on their hands while there're huge social problems that need to be addressed," she says.