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

April has been one of the busiest months we have had, with as many as 7 new cases of Domestic violence coming for help. Do read on to know more..
The lady in the picture above is Deepa, who lives in a village on the outskirts of Dehradun and she is showing us her hair. She used to have long hair upto her waist but few days ago her husband had forcibly chopped of her hair in a fit of rage. Barely 21, Deepa married, against the wishes of her family, a man she loved only to realize a few months into her marriage, that the man was actually a "wife beating monster" as she put it. Beaten black and blue often in front of the entire village, Deepa had her clothes burnt, children beaten up and been threatened with death a number of times. Apparently the whole village was scared of her husband and while they sympathized with her , no one came to protect her when she was being beaten publicly.
Finally one of her neighbors called us and we "rescued" Deepa from her own home and took her to her Uncle's home to avoid further beatings. A police complaint was filed and the man hauled up. We got her case registered in the Women's Helpline too for family counseling. Her husband finally relented, accepted his wrong doings and promised never to repeat his behavior again.
Deepa finally went back to her home last week, and so far, has been living a peaceful life.
Our monthly meeting was held in Sattowala slums in Dehradun, in which around 20 women participated. They were informed about their rights under the Indian constitution. A situation we have encountered quite frequently is that of a drunkard husband, beating up his wife regularly and creating chaos in the home. The husband usually is a daily worker and the sole bread earner. Putting him up in a correction facility would deprive the family of income. Counseling the husband is usually impossible because he leaves very early in the morning and comes back late night drunk and even if you catch him, he is absolutely immune to any advice. If you have any suggestions on how to deal with such situations, please reply to this email.
While waiting for her turn at the Women's Helpline, Shivani Singh our Outreach Coordinator, met Sayista. She is a 24 year old woman, married to Afsar Khan two years back and since then Sayista and her one year old daughter is subjected to inhuman treatment by him. Two days ago she filed an FIR against his husband after being so badly beaten by him that blood came out of her mouth and nose. After the sufferings of two long years, she realized that Afsar will never change and she and her daughter will have to live as victims of Domestic Violence if they stay with him. She want to be a survivor not a victim, she is now staying with her mother and has decided to open up a tailoring shop and earn a living for herself and her daughter.
We have filed a case of Domestic Violence and Maintenance against Afsar Khan and help her in any possible way we can
Message from Shivani Singh, Outreach Coordinator, Saheli
It is truly said"Age is just a number,maturity is a choice".

My name is SHIVANI ,i was just 18 when i completed my schooling and started teaching kids in school, earlier during my school days also i used to teach kids in slums of Dehradun.

The children came from a background where there was no atmosphere of education, their parents keep migrating ,lack of support and intrest hinder their educational goal. My first objective was to make them realize why they need to be literate .

Unlike lot of people who work in NGO's because of their passion to change the lives of those in need,I had taken this up as a meaningful way , and with this I met SHRUTI KAUSHIK secretry of SAHELI TRUST in the year 2013, she gave a moral drive to keep me going.

With 'SAHELI' I learned, in this hectic life of ours where earning money and reputation is the only goal, we can also spend some time with the people who really require our help and attention.

I have seen sufferings of women within my family only and that was the time I decided to do something diffrent, working with SAHELI I also saw challenges that are involved in the cases, i realized how hard it must be to manage everything, I had also been for the field work and saw for myself how things work at the level which is so vunerable but also the most neglected,The experience was worth it as it inspires me to give back to the society.

SAHELI lives up to its name. It gives one the hope that things can be changed and will be change.
Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

April has been a particularly rewarding month for us. We got the highest number of calls for help this month, 7 to be specific and the good thing about that is that for the first time, we got 2 calls from small towns outside Dehradun and one all the way from Banglore, the last one from a girl from Haldwani who had gone to Banglore in distress.

The other good news is that all our children have done exceptionally well. Almost all have come either 1st or 2nd in their respective classes, which is an achievement considering that most of them have not been to school for years before coming to us.

This month we also welcomed into our family, Pushpa, a 15 year old orphan, who is a National Level Judo player. She came to us from another shelter, much against the wishes of the management there, because her elder sister is with us. She is an adorable girl, very self confident, always smiling.

If you think we in Saheli do good work, I would like to request you to please forward this newsletter to your friends and relatives. We need to spread awareness about Saheli so that more people are aware lend their support. Believe me, without the support of each one of you, Saheli would not have grown the way it has over the last 3 years. All of you, each and every single one, is God's own blessing for Saheli.
We have come a long way and there is still a long way to go. There are many more people out there who need our help, but we can't help them, given our constraints.

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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