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

November was a quiet month, with things progressing smoothly except for the sudden demonitization of currency in India which literally left us "penniless". After about a week post demonitization we were able to get enough hard cash to pay our bills, but we did manage quite well and soon things were back on track.
November was Annual Sports Day at Himalayan Academy, the school were most of the children study. Sonali bagged gold in the 100 meters relay race, she is seen in the picture above in yellow t-shirt. She has come a long way from being a beggar girl, who was sold off by her own mother, to a hard working school going athletic girl, in just six months.

In the picture below, you can see her in the "human pyramid" with Prakash next to her in green and Shivam in the yellow t-shirt.
Outreach programs
November took us to Naye Basti a small village around 7 kms from Dehradun. The village also has a significant Muslim population and the most encouraging aspect of the visit was the desire among the ladies of the village to educate their girls and their awareness about women's rights.
Educating the women...
Following up on our visit to Mecca Madina village last month, we started teaching 10 women of the village two hours each afternoon. When offered a choice between learning English or Hindi, they all opted for Hindi. Urdu being their native tongue, they were all able to read and write in that language, and when offered a second language, we presumed they would be more interested in English, but they unanimously opted for Hindi.

Most of them were mothers of two or three children and their enthusiasm to learn was all too obvious.
Message from the Secretary
Dear Everyone,

As I mentioned before, November was a unique month for us as events left us literally "penniless". Looking after 14 children without any hard cash was a tough but interesting experience. Borrowing cash from someone was also not an option as no one had money on them and the banks were either shut or out of cash. But we did survive and thankfully things settled down in about a week.

This is also the month we usually buy winter uniforms for the children. With most of them gaining height rather rapidly, clothes usually before short within no time. They are passed around to shorter children but we do need to buy a huge set of warm clothes, especially school uniforms. Luckily we managed to do that before the cash crunch.

Shruti Arya & Vaishali Rana, both of whom are doing B.Comm, joined special classes this month which prepare them for Banking exams. Even though they have 3 years of graduation ahead of them, before they can appear for the Bank entrance exams, we have encouraged them to start preparing from now itself because they need to clear the exams at the first shot.

Riya Rana & Sushmita, both appearing for Class 12 exams next year, also joined extra coaching classes this month. All these have significant financial implication and coupled by the sudden drying up of casual donations we used to get every month due to the demonitization, left our finances precariously balanced.

Once again, I would like to request everyone to please spread the word about us. If you feel our work is good, please tell your friends and acquaintances about us. The more people know about us, the more likely are we to get support. So, I would like to request you to please forward this newsletter to such people. It is really important.

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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Read our Annual Report for the year 2015
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