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

September was one of the rare months when things were calm & peaceful, with everything going as planned. A few of our long stuck issues finally started moving.

Read below to know more...
Finally, the moment we waited 2 years for !
After a long wait of 2 years, finally THE moment came. Prakash was "free" once more. Free of the tube that had been in his throat for 2 years.

For those who are not in picture, Prakash was rescued about two years ago from a village near Nanital by Child helpline. He had been mauled by a leopard and left to die by his employer on the roadside. Prakash was a child labour working in a home in the village near Nanital. His mother died when he was a young child and his father, who was working in that house, ran away one day, leaving Prakash, then 7 years, to fend for himself. The employers then made Prakash their servant, until the day he slept outside the house because he was beaten up by his employer and subsequently mauled by a leopard. Though Prakash survived, the employer threw an injured Prakash out of his house and left him to die.

He was then brought to us,and with help from lots of people we collected enough funds to get him operated in PGI Chandigarh. After the initial operation, Prakash had a pipe in his throat as his windpipe had been damaged. He could not speak. Gradually he started going to school and did extremely well. He is now in class 1.

He went for 6 monthly checkups at PGI but the ENT surgeons there did not find him fit enough for the tube to be removed. Each time he came back he was a little upset, because obviously he was hoping for the tube to be removed.

Finally last month, Prakash underwent two surgeries and his tube was finally removed. Hopefully now Prakash will now be able to lead a normal life.

Another much awaited day
Another 2 year long wait came to an end this month. Finally a petition for annulment of the marriage of Ayushi Rana was filed in the civil court.
Ayushi, the orphan 18 year old girl, had come to us in 2014 after being married at the age of 16 years by her Aunt. Married to a 40 something man, Ayushi could not suffer an abusive marriage and ran away from her married home in a village near Dehradun.

After struggling to find herself a place to stay for more than a month, Ayushi finally reached our Shelter in September 2014. Her inlaws are a politically connected powerful family and they were trying to trace her, so we hid her incognito for 2 years, till she became 18 in November last year.

Within weeks of her turning a major, in legal terms, we approached an eminent lawyer in Dehradun, who was kind enough to work for her, for much reduced fees. After a lengthy period of paper work, a case for annulment of marriage was filed in the civil court of Dehradun this month.

Hopefully by next year, Ayushi will be legally "unmarried" and look forwards to a bright new life.
Home sweet home
Our tiny tots taking part in a school function.

From left, Bhagirath, Prakash, Sonali, Bani & Shivam
Celebrating Raksha bandhan, an Indian festival which means "bond of protection". It is the celebration of the love and harmony between the siblings.
Outreach programs
A small but interested audience is what we found in our meeting at the "Muslim" part of Kabadi colony, Kargi Chowk. Unfortunately the colony is deeply divided on religious lines. In absence of Shruti Kaushik Secretary Saheli Trust, our Trustee Dr Nitin Pandey took the meeting. In the meeting an elderly man, seen in blue shirt in the first picture, complained about being beaten up regularly by his wife.
MARALI - Our Self Help Group
Marali, a Sanskrit word for swan. Here swan has been related to a lady, swan similar to a lady is elegant, has grace and gentle beauty but inside she is struggling and constantly paddling to keep floating on the surface of the water. Similarly, a woman is constantly struggling to keep her and her family's life in balance and that too with a smile.

Our Self Help Group has women from the village called Sewla Kalan. These women were taught handicraft making and their products are marketed through different avenues. Among the products are thread lamps, hand embroidered skirts and women's jackets, women's purses and other accessories.
So, whenever you visit Pacific Mall in Dehradun, don't forget to buy our products and bring a smile on a woman's face at the Marali Kiosk in the 2nd floor. The products they make are crafted with love and care.
Message from the Secretary
Dear Everyone,

Women Empowerment is an issue which is very close to my heart and that is why I am in this field. During my college days I always used to tell my mother that i'll adopt 8 girls not aware of the fact that it would be much more than just 8. I would really like to thank God for opting me to take care of all the girls he have given me. And now I appreciate how my mother she used to handle us as adolescents and I am extremely sorry for all those words I said during my "teen" years, There are instances when I am like Oh My God Ė I donít know how to solve this! it really is a tough job to handle them.

Well, all we want from them is to become independent and strong women and yes a responsible citizen, nothing much. Once again, I would like to thank each one of you for your genuine support and love. Without your support it would have been almost impossible to help them in giving a safe and secure environment.

Also, I would like to request everyone to please spread the word about us. If you feel our work is good, please tell your friends and acquaintances about us. The more people know about us, the more likely are we to get support. So, I would like to request you to please forward this newsletter to such people.

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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