Updates of all activities of Saheli Trust, Dehra Dun, India
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Dear Everyone,
March was a really intense month for all of us, with a lot of activities, planned and unplanned, keeping us on our toes the entire month. A lot happened, do read on to see what we have been up to.
On World Women's Day, instead of having a conference in an air conditioned hotel, we decided to mark the day with girls of the East Patel Nagar Slum. We took drawing paper, pencils and colors and asked them to paint with their hearts. We found that some of the girls were painting for the first time in their lives and the joy on their faces were just too heart touching. We also fed these girls fruits, and realized that some of them were trying to save the fruit to take it home with them. We made sure those girls ate it then and there.
On 16th March, Aakriti Bisht, member of Saheli, saw a girl, looking dazed, walking unsteadily on the road. Sensing something was wrong, Aakriti tried to talk to her but the girl's response was incoherent. Aakriti walked along with the girl for half an hour and then realized that the girl was not in her senses. Soon other members of Saheli joined in, police was called and it turned out that the girl was mentally challenged and apparently from the neighboring town of Saharanpur. The girl was sent to a shelter for mentally challenged and we tried our best to trace her parents but couldn't. Shivani, another Saheli member, went to Saharanpur to try and trace the family, but couldn't.
This month we had our monthly meeting in a village 8 kms away from Dehradun, called Harbanjwala. A small hamlet home to a dozen families, has a surprisingly high incidence of domestic violence. The very next day we got a call from a family in the village, whose daughter was badly beaten up the very night. We called the husband to our office and warned him against further physical abuse. As of now, thankfully, he has not laid his hands on her.
Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

March was a very busy month for us. As of now we have 5 active cases of women suffering from domestic violence and the entire month was spent taking them to various courts, police stations and interacting with their families. The reluctance of policemen in general to actively help victims is incomprehensible.

The children were busy with their terminal exams and seem to have done well. We should get the results soon and will keep you posted on that.

Holi, the Indian festival of colors, was celebrated on 28th March and our children had a nice time. Luckily the festival came after the terminal exams, so the children were able to participate in the festival with a free mind.

Finally, as I always say, we would love to have your feedback, both negative and positive, because that is what helps us grow. Please do not hesitate to comment, all you need to do is to reply to this email. Your words mean a lot to us, so please don't hesitate.

And the invitation to visit our shelter is there for everyone. Please do spare some time and come and feel the spirit of Saheli.

With regards,

Shruti Kaushik,
Secretary, Saheli

...and in the end...
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