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

May has literally been a "hot" month for us, with a number of domestic violence related cases keeping us on our toes. This month, tragically, we got our first DV case from the Indian Army. It dismayed us to see educated officers behaving like this and even though we know that DV and abuse cuts across all socio economic lines, we were all saddened by this.

Read on to know more....
Two days before the judgement day in the Maintenance petition of Radha, one of the inmates of Saheli Women's Shelter, her mother in law decided to take matters into her own hand and barged into the shelter trying to kidnap Radha's daughter, Bani. The police had to be called in and with great difficulty the women were evicted.

Two days later we won the Maintenance case and Radha was awarded a separation allowance of Rs 3000/- per month, not a princely sum but it was half the husband's declared salary.
The story of  Sulochana
55 year old Sulochana came to us on 14th May in a distraught condition, with her daughter. Her husband had apparently tried to burn her alive. She had a history of 8 years of beatings and verbal abuse by the husband, while her son, who stays with them, looked the other way.

We visited her home, spoke to the husband who accused the wife of abusing him and beating him. After a long counseling session and a visit by policemen from the local police station, we left after telling both the husband and wife to be civil to each other and not to resort to violence under any pretext.

Follow up calls to Sulochana were positive and violence, both verbal and physical, seems to have stopped. Keeping fingers crossed.
Fund raising drive for Saheli Women's & Children's Shelter
In an effort to raise funds for the Shelter, we are holding a "Summer Camp" for children. As the schools are closed for vacations, children have time to pick up things like dance and arts and craft. The 4 week camp gives children knowledge with fun. Hip hop dance, songs, educational games and theatre are part of the camp curriculum. 19 children signed up for the camp and seeing them go about the various activities is fun in itself.
The tragic story of Archana

The most tragic happening of the month was this 36 year old, mother of two girls, who came to us for help, fed up with severe beatings in 16 years of her marriage with an Army Lt Col. She showed us pictures of hers with bruises on her face. Her own parents are separated and the mother too poor to help her. She has two sisters who also can't help her because of their inlaws and her only brother runs a small village shop. She has literally no money even for her daughter's education.

We will help her file a petition under DV Act and ask for maintaince from the husband, but till the judgement comes, she would need help. We are getting her a lawyer and also have assured her of every possible help. Surprising to know that wives of officers get almost no help from the services other than verbal words of comfort. We are also looking for a job for her.

If you would like to help us out with funding of the legal expenses of this lady, please reply to this email and we will get in touch with you.

Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

May was the month which tested our skills in stress handling. The raid of the mother in law of Radha at the shelter and the subsequent threatening telephone calls and threats of another similar attempt at kidnapping the daughter can unnerve many. Pressure was also mounted on us by telephone calls from "influential" people to sort the matter amicably (read : return the lady and her daughter to the in-laws)  before the final judgement day, which ultimately brought big relief to us when it came.

Our creche is almost ready. Instead of purchasing soft toys and other items for the creche, we contacted people who had children at home and got the unused toys for free, thereby saving a lot of money. In a weeks time from today, it should be functional, hope to share the good news with all of you in the next month's newsletter.

A humble request I would like to make everyone is to help us out with donations. You can "adopt" a child for Rs 3000/- per month, for as long as you like. You can stop the donations as and when you wish, no questions asked. This amount of Rs 3000/- includes Rs 800/- for studies, Rs 2000/- for food and Rs 200/- towards personal expenses.  Details of ways to donate are here:


Please remember, each rupee counts and please don't think that there are many "others" who will help us. Do help us yourself too. We now have 80G, so you get tax benefit too.

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. All you need to do is to reply to this newsletter. 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...
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