Updates of all activities of Saheli Trust, Dehra Dun, India
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Dear everyone,

April has always been a very special month for us, this is the month when Saheli came into being, 2 years ago. We marked the occasion by having a small get together at the Saheli Women's Shelter and strengthened our resolve to do even more in the coming years.

Do read on to know how we marked the day.  
After a search of literally one year, we finally got a bigger house to move in. The previous shelter was way too small with barely enough space for 7 children and we somehow managed to squeeze in 10 children and 2 adults. The new one has four rooms, a dining room and a drawing room, enough space for 8 more children. Our children now have enough space to relax and study in a positive environment. 

Ofcourse, our expenditure on the rent has shot through the roof, from Rs 7000/- in the last home to Rs 14,000/-  now, but there is no other option. We have been refusing admission to so many women and children in distress over the last year as there was simply no space. Now we will be able to help more women and children.
The story of  Pramod

Pramod, a 15 year old boy was brought to us, on 23rd April, through Child helpline after he was found by a passerby, asking for a lift on a road with no idea where he wanted to go. The passerby took the boy to the nearest police station.

It turns out that Pramod, ran away from home few months ago to "earn money", worked in a bakery for two months for which he was not paid a single rupee. His father died a few days back but he could not go home as he had no money and his family had "disowned" Pramod, since he did not come for his father's last rites. We talked with his uncle and explained the real condition of Pramod and the issue was sorted out.

Since there was no future for Pramod in his own village, as his family owned a small plot of land just enough to grow food for their own consumption and there were no jobs in the village, it was felt that he should study and work for a brighter future. After a few days, we shifted Pramod to an Ashram in Haridwar, where he will live and study. We could not keep Pramod with us since we primarily work for women, girls and younger children.


More about the new Saheli Women's Shelter

After a search of almost two months we finally got a new home. This is a two storey building, with two bed rooms and a kitchen in the first floor and two bed rooms, one dinning hall and a drawing room in the ground floor. The kitchen in the first floor is being used as a study. In the new shelter we can now accommodate atleast five more residents.

Shifting into a bigger house has it's own shares of problems. We simply had no furniture, the beds were just enough for the present occupants as were things like bedsheets, chairs and tables. With God's blessings and help from all of you, we gradually managed to get the required items and are now ready to accept more children and women in distress. If you remember, previously we had had to refuse a number of such requests for lack of space. 

We were luck enough to have with us Bea Fones, an 18 year old college student from UK, who is going to volunteer with us for 2 months. She is living in the shelter, eating with the children and teaching them English. English is a weak point of all our children and in this day and age this is a significant handicap.

It is Bea's first visit to India and she has adapted remarkably well to life here. Besides teaching our girls English, Bea is trying hard to pick up Hindi. She will be with us till the mid of June. In the picture above, Bea is teaching, Jamuna, one of our girls, English.
Meeting in Kathbanglow 2 slums
Our monthly meeting at the Kathbanglow 2 slum threw up an interesting challenge. We already knew that most of the men here were alcoholics. Many of the women in the meeting wanted to know how to get their husbands off alcohol. 

The surest and fastest way for deaddiction is to get them admitted in a Deaddiction center. The problem with this was that since these men were the only bread winners of the families, getting them admitted would leave the families penniless and unable to support themselves.

Talking to the men was difficult since they leave early morning and return home late at night, drunk.

Does anyone have a suggestion on ways of handling this? If you have, please share with us by replying to this email.
Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

April has been a luck month for us. Our search for a bigger accommodation finally came to an end. We shifted in the first week of April and life became better for our children. They finally had a make shift study (an unused kitchen) and we also got a nice computer as a donation from Dr Shobha Arora, AIIMS, Rishikesh.

As a way of augmenting our resources we are planning to open a paid creche in the drawing room of the new house. Not only would it help women in the nearby localities work without worrying about their little children, but also help us cover the huge increase in the monthly rent we need to pay now. It is up from Rs 5000/- per month to Rs 14,000/- monthly now. Our hunt for 2 aayas is now on and hopefully by the time of next newsletter we will be able to share with you the news of our creche opening.

A humble request I would like to make everyone is to help us out with donations. You can "adopt" a child for Rs 3000/- per month, for as long as you like. You can stop the donations as and when you wish, no questions asked. This amount of Rs 3000/- includes Rs 800/- for studies, Rs 2000/- for food and Rs 200/- towards personal expenses.  Details of ways to donate are here:


Please remember, each rupee counts and please don't think that there are many "others" who will help us. Do help us yourself too. We now have 80G, so you get tax benefit too.

And finally, a big request to everyone is to please help us grow by giving us advice on the way forwards, by pointing out our mistakes and by suggesting new ideas to us. Please do not hesitate in criticizing anything you don't like. All you need to do is to reply to this newsletter. And if you live in Dehradun, or if you ever visit our city, my earnest appeal to you is to visit us. Do call me and I shall be honored to arrange a visit for you. My number is +91-9760371958.

With regards,

Shruti Kaushik,
Secretary, Saheli

...and in the end...
If you missed the back issues of our newsletter, please follow these links:
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014

April & May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
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