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

Just when we thought we have seen the worst of it all, life shows us how cruel it can be. In January we welcomed a new girl in our shelter, who for the sake of anonymity we shall call Girl X. Do read her story below to realize how girls are sometimes treated in modern day India.
The Story of Girl X
In the second week of January a 19 year old girl, who we are referring to as Girl X, was brought to our Shelter, along with her 3 year old mentally challenged daughter, you can see in the picture above. The girl belongs to a remote village in the mountains near Dehradun, called Chakrata. Her parents, small time farmers, sold her off when she was 12 years old. The girl ran back to her home only to be sold off again for a second time and so this went on till she was sold for the fourth time. From her 3 "marriage" a mentally challenged daughter was born. After she came home the fourth time, a neighbor took pity on her and called up the police, who finally rescued her from her sad life. Her daughter has never received any medical attention and is in urgent need of evaluation and therapy.

Since her arrival in our shelter, Girl X has seen happiness she never saw before. She has made friends for the first time in her life and we have started sending her for private coaching. Since she has only studied till Class 4, we plan to give her private education and then make her appear for National Open Board exams in a few years.
Outreach Activities
As a part of our continuing outreach, in January we visited a village called Pithuvala Kala, about 5 kms away from the outskirts of Dehradun. We were pleasantly surprised to find a high levels of awareness there for Women's Rights and a high level of desire to get their children educated. Yet, we found may girls sitting at home after Class 12. The reason, once again, for discontinuing education after school was that the nearest college was 20 kms away. This is the commonest reason for discontinuing education we have found, villages after villages. Can India progress without educating its girls? That is one question we must ask ourselves.

Celebrating India's Republic Day

Message from the Secretary
Dear Everyone,

Our new family member, who I called Girl X above, made me realize how desperately women need help, more so in remote rural areas, where girls are still being sold and resold as commodity. Most of them suffer this agony simply because they have no help nor any place to go. Girl X has told us stories of horror she went through, she has seen pain which most of us cannot even imagine. And more sadly, she talks of her friends, who are not as lucky as she was, in escaping.

Our Annual Report for the year 2016 is now online. Please do take a minute to read it and share it. Sharing with your friends and relatives is very important for us.


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...
Read our Annual Report for the year 2016
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