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

February was a busy month for us, a number of Domestic Violence cases kept us on our toes the entire month. February was also unusually warm for winters, with scanty winter rainfall and minimal snowfall, had the farmers of the State worried.
Wife Bashing.....
Cases of Domestic Violence, including death threats, kept us running the entire month of February. Shuttling between police stations and Government appointed Protection Officers we prevented one husband from throwing out his wife and children from their home. Another lady, living in a village on the outskirts of Dehradun, was threatened with murder after she objected to her husband's affair with another woman. Timely intervention by our staff and written complaints to the police, managed to staff off threats to the woman.
Penny, a volunteer from UK, joined us last month, for teaching the children in our Shelter. Her unique way of teaching English, putting up Notice of Essay Topics on the wall daily with a chart next to it showing the performance of children in those essays, really motivates the children to write as their performance is displayed prominently for everyone to see.
Our Education@YourDoorstep Campaign
Our Education@YourDoorstep Campaign continues full steam ahead. Mid session exams were held in Mehuwala Mafi center (left pic), while the English & Computer Classes continued at 4 different centers with a total of 43 girl students.

The right picture above shows one such computer class going on in a village.
Outreach Program
There were two meetings in February, the picture above is from village Derakhal, about 9 kms from Dehradun and the picture below is from a slum in center of Dehradun, near Bindal Bridge. In both the areas, there were complaints of husbands being alcoholic, spending all his money on alcohol, wife beating and neglect of home. Till the women themselves stand up and stop depending on the husband for financial support, they can never be truly empowered.
An Appeal
Dear Everyone,

It is a pleasure knowing almost everyone, who gets this email, personally. Our association has been long and cherished. Our relationship through Saheli is equally cherished, we all share the passion and goal of helping the distressed and together we have come a long way in the last 5 years of Saheli.

I'm writing to you today for a very special cause. Over the last one year we have been trying to break a glass ceiling. A glass ceiling in India of gender linking of jobs, with some jobs being men only. In our outreach programs, we have been trying to motivate girls to take up driving as a profession. We must have talked to hundreds of girls, but while everyone was interested in taking free driving lessons, no one was willing to take up driving as a profession, simply because driving is a man's job.

As our search for lady candidates continued we did a survey of women in Dehradun, women who were potential employers of women drivers. Sadly, a vast majority of women said they would not take a woman driver, as driving is a man's job.

After almost ten months, now we have finally found 4 women who are willing to learn driving and take up driving as a profession. After the initial hesitation, they are now proud to be training as a driver. A picture of these four is below.

The taxi service we will be starting is called "SheCab". It will be a service for women, by women and of women. Such services are common in bigger cities but even a woman driver is unheard of in mid level cities like Dehradun. That is why we must achieve success in this.

Unfortunately, the project is "finance intensive", we need to train the girls, get them commercial driving licenses, buy 2 taxis, tracking devices, an app for the taxi service and a website. The total cost of this is around Rs 7,50,000. We have raised Rs 5,50000. If you think the project is worth, please help us by contributing a bit. It is a request.

Any feedback on the topic is most welcome. Simply reply to this email with your comments/ observations.


Dr Nitin Pandey
Saheli Trust
...and in the end...
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