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

May and June have been very challenging months for us with keeping the children busy during holidays, rescuing 3 girls from distress, 9 new cases of Domestic Violence and solving the ones which came in the last few months. Do read on to know more about the insights..
The story of Laali
Sonali, a 9 year old girl was rescued by Childline and brought to us. We accepted her as a part of our big happy family. Amit, from Childline briefed us her story and told us that she was staying with her uncle and aunt and they used to beat her up very badly as seen from the wounds on her head. Due to severe beatings she used to run from the place they were staying in. Later Sonali told us that she was sold by her parents in Tamil Nadu to a family in Choila village on the outskirts of Dehradun. Childline has filed the FIR and will ensure that the girl gets justice. We will try and give Sonali a better life now. Need your blessings & support.
We are really happy to share with you that Saheli Girl Power Club, which we were planning to start from a long long time has finally been started and was inaugurated by Dr. Saraswati Singh on 6th June on the auspicious day of Ramadan at Village Buddi. We made sure that the mothers of all the children attended the inauguration and tried to stress upon them to empower their girls.
The Power Club have 10 girls in it and are taught Computers & English in their own village, 2 hours each day. Buddi is a backward village with girls not being allowed to study after Class 12 and are married at an early age. So, we also counsel the family side by side to delay their marriage and to empower them. It will be a great success if we will be of any help in the lives of these 10 young and enthusiastic girls.
Sushmita, 18 years old orphan girl who came to us in May for help. She used to stay with her aunt near robber's cave and her aunt used to beat her up for every small thing and wanted to get rid of her as "she was only a burden on her". Sushmita is a very career oriented girl and have big dreams planned for her future. She secured 78% in her Intermediate, which is fairly good as her school was from Uttarakhand Board and will be doing BA in Geography this year from a reputed college. Also her name is in the topmost position in the merit list of the college she applied for. What a brilliant girl she is ! We have no idea how can she be a burden on anyone ! We are blessed that we got a chance to help a girl like her.

In the picture she is with our warden, Kiran Mishra, in front of her home, where we had gone to pick her up from.
Rescuing Riya
Rescued a 19 year old girl on 31st May from a village near Premnagar. This girl from Guptkashi was sweet talked and then literally forced to elope with this man, who pretended to be a doctor on a salary of 85,000/- per month. She soon realized that the person was working in a factory in Selaqui, married and a father of a two year old child. The man cuts off her access to outside world and used to beat her up, with great difficulty the girl contacted us for rescue. On seeing us the man fled away and we got the girl to our shelter. If anyone knows this man please let us know. He works in a factory in Selaqui. Sadly the girl refuses to press charges against the person.
She is now safe and secure with us and want to continue with her studies. We will help her out in any possible way we can.
In the picture above you can see the man running away. He jumped from the roof of the house in which they were staying as tenants.
And here comes the most difficult task of keeping the children busy during their vacations and ensuring that they don't get a chance to think much because as people say that "empty mind is a devil's workshop"!
So we kept them occupied by sending them to the Art and Craft classes held by our very own Creative Head, Aakriti Bisht, of Marali. We thank her for teaching them some handicraft skills.
We also indulged children in gardening. They are curious, like to learn by doing. Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something overtime, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill.
Our main aim is to make them a responsible and caring person.
Marali(a Sanskrit name for Swan), as the name signifies, shows the inner strength of a woman, like a swan who looks so calm and composed from outside is actually struggling from inside to keep her floating in the water. As you all know, Marali is the Self Help Group which is run by Saheli Trust in order to empower women. We make wide range of products like Skirts, lamps, diaries, cushion covers, earrings, bags, top, and the list goes on. So, don't forget to encourage them by purchasing a product made by the women of our SHG. After all it is made with love and care.
For those who don't know, we have a small kiosk named Marali in Pacific Mall, Dehradun. Make your Marriage and Birthday special by ordering our products. We are sure you won't be disappointed.
We had a monthly meeting in June in Choila, in the same village from which we rescued Saloni from. We deliberately invited Saloni's aunt for the meeting to make her understand that it is a crime to abuse children whether mentally or physically and sensitized the locals about 1098, toll free number of childline, so that if there is any child abuse then the locals can call and report about that. We also sensitized the women of the village about domestic violence and about the importance of women empowerment and how important it is to raise their children more as human beings and not as a girl or a boy.
We had another meeting at Brahmpuri basti, west Patel nagar. The women of this village were very interactive and discussed their problems and also sensitized them about Domestic Violence Act, 2005. We distributed our Helpline number which is available 24 hours in case of any emergency related to women.
Even if you encounter any such case please don't hesitate to take help from us.
Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

"The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description"
It is very important to teach a girl how to earn for herself because half of the problem is sorted out when a woman is financially independent.

Both May and June have been extremely hectic for all of us in Saheli with many outreach programs and many pending cases of DV in line to be sorted out. With so much work to be done together, we didn't got a chance to sit and write the newsletter for the month of May and I am really sorry for that.

As I always say, running such an organization is not easy and without your support it would be next to impossible for us to help these women and children. So, don't forget to talk about Saheli and to share this newsletter with your family and friends. I feel myself lucky that God gave me an opportunity to work for this cause. But now because of limited resources and funds we have to stop taking more children at the shelter, as there is less space there and more children means more expenditure. My heart really aches while saying no to anyone who is in urgent need of a shelter. We'll look for other options for them.

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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