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

August has been a super duper active month for all of us, with hectic activities all around. We thank God for giving us so many challenges, which he has also given us the power, to overcome.

Read the newsletter below, to see what has kept us on our toes this August.
The month began with a bang. Aastitva, one of our sister organizations, sent a 14 year old girl to us, Neha Arya. She was from a broken family, with both the parents remarried and absolutely uninterested in her. She had quit school 2 years ago and was on the verge of going to Bollywood to become a dancer (she is very good at dancing). She refused to join school.

It took a lot of persuasion and three sessions with Mrs Saraswati Singh, a renowned psychologist in Dehradun and finally she agreed to join school. She had not studied for last 2 years, so got admission in Class 8. 

But the change in her was dramatic. She started studying and scored over 80% in all her subjects. Her teachers started praising her and today she is an ideal enthusiastic student, always eager to learn more.

Just shows how children bloom when given the right environment.The month began with a bang. Aastitva, one of our sister organizations, sent a 14 year old girl to us, Neha Arya. She was from a broken family, with both the parents remarried and absolutely uninterested in her. She had quit school 2 years ago and was on the verge of going to Bollywood to become a dancer (she is very good at dancing). She refused to join school.

It took a lot of persuasion and three sessions with Mrs Saraswati Singh, a renowned psychologist in Dehradun and finally she agreed to join school. She had not studied for last 2 years, so got admission in Class 8. 

But the change in her was dramatic. She started studying and scored over 80% in all her subjects. Her teachers started praising her and today she is an ideal enthusiastic student, always eager to learn more. The photograph below is  how she looks now.

Just shows how children bloom when given the right environment.
Rakhee celebrations in Saheli Women's Shelter
Rakhi is the Indian  festival of a girl tying a  sacred thread  on the wrist of her brother, and the brother vowing to protect and care for her. It is one of the major Indian festivals and we in Saheli celebrated it with a lot of vigor.

The twist in the festival, which we brought, was that we got the boys to  also tie the sacred thread on the writs of their sisters, thus making it gender neutral and stressing that girls too can take care of their brothers, if need be.
Changing lives.....
We got four children, 2 boys and 2 girls, from Sapera Basti, Rajpur, admitted in a boarding government school, where their food and education will be taken care of. They were from two families, where because of alcoholic fathers and domestic violence, they could not study. The children were very anxious to study but their environment deprived them of basic education.

We'd like to thank the Principal of Government High School, Rajpur Road, who agreed to take them in, despite meager resources.

Within two weeks of their stay in the school, there was a dramatic change in the children. They are now well kept, clean, well fed and smiling.

There are three more children we are desperately trying to find a place for, where they can stay and study. Two of them are girls and one is a boy. If you know any place which can take them, please reply to this email.
Saheli Self Help Group .....
Stitching of Indian suits is now in full swing. The quality of the suits is so good that a number of them have been sold out even before we could market them. If you'd like to see them, do visit our Self Help Group in Chandrabani, anytime.
The story of Rekha...
Rekha, a 32 year old lady, who worked as  a domestic help, was brutally beaten by her drunk husband, with an axe, on her head. She was taken to the government hospital in coma. On receiving information about her, we visited her in the hospital and found  her in care of her 14 year old daughter. They have no relatives and the husband is  now in jail.

We provided all the help we could  and  tied up with doctors for smooth hassle free treatment for Rekha. Rekha has multiple wounds in her brain and doctors cannot predict the outcome at this stage.

We are visiting the lady frequently and at the time of writing this newsletter, she was improving. She is now taking liquid feeds but is unable to talk.

We will keep you updated about her progress in the next newsletter.
Saheli is really humbled to be nominated as an NGO on the board of State Bank Of India, Sexual Harassment Committee. This committee will work towards ensuring that women in State Bank of India do not face sexual harassment.
Meeting on Domestic Violence in Sapera Basti
On 28th August, the monthly meeting of Saheli Sapera Basti Group was held in the Anganwadi Kendra. While Domestic violence as the key point, another issue which emerged was the reluctance of the parents to send their children to school and the tendency of the families to have 6 or 7 children. It was decided that in the next meeting all those families who have more than 3 children and where the woman is pregnant yet again ,will be called and counseled.
Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

Lots and lots of things have been happening on  all fronts, enough to keep all of us on our toes all the time. Managing 7 school going children at the same time, is  not a small job. Handling their childhood tantrums, fears and desires makes me appreciate how my own mother brought me and my brother up. The good thing which i would like to share with everyone here is that inspite of our children joining schools mid-session, in the just concluded class exams all of them have scored over 80% marks, in one odd subject, a few of them got around 60% though, which is not bad.

Both of our women inmates, Radha & Radhika have now got jobs. In addition to the job, both of them get coaching in English and hopefully Radhika will now apply for Class 10 exams in Open Board system. As you may know our aim is to train them in a livelihood skill and then gradually integrate them into society on their own, in 3 years. While we have sponsors for all the inmates of Saheli Women's Shelter, we still need to find a sponsor for Radhika. If you'd like to sponsor her, please reply to this email. Sponsoring amount is Rs 5000/- per month and includes money for their food, legal expenses, education and training.

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. 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:

July 2014
June 2014
April & May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
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