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

Greetings from Saheli Trust. September has been a very tense month for us, with threats of abduction and kidnapping and almost daily visits to the police station and the courts. It was our first brush with the law enforcing agencies of India and it does leave a bitter taste in mouth, when the victim is portrayed as a culprit.
The story of Shivani
Shivani, the 15 year old domestic help we rescued on 14th August from a house nearby, gradually opened up and poured out her heart. If you recollect, we had got information of a girl servant being abused by the employer and had raided the house with help of police and the Child Helpline.

Shivani was brought to Dehradun at the age of 8 from her native village near Biharigarh on Dehra Dun Delhi highway. She was sexually abused right from the beginning by her employer and never allowed to step out of the house. In the last 7 years she went out of the house twice. She does not even know what dates and months are. She had talked to her mother twice in those seven years and she did tell her mother about her abuse but it apparently fell on deaf ears. Shivani also speaks of her two elder sisters being similarly abused by the employer.

Initially on arrival, Shivani was very distraught and barely spoke. She gradually opened up with counseling and finally gave a statement in front of the police and a magistrate. Our experience with police was harrowing, to say the least and at times it appeared that we were the culprits rather than the person who abused this little girl. The police seemed more interested in running us down rather than tackling the person.

See The Saheli Movie
This month we visited a slum near Rajpur area of Dehradun and organized a meeting on domestic violence in which we also called the men. It was interesting to see their reaction and hopefully after the meeting, they will carry back home some message.
A photo exhibition was organized in Indian Habitat Center, New Delhi, by well known Geologist and photographer, Vaibhav Kaul, in support of Saheli Trust in the last week of September. Exquisite photographs of the Himalayas were on display and received a good response. We raised a donation of INR 33,000/- from the exhibition after the expenses.
Read our Annual Report for 2014
After a long long search, we finally found the right girl, Shivani Singh, who was appointed as Assistant Project Manager in Saheli. Since our work has been expanding we needed an additional helping hand and we finally found a motivated energetic young lady. She is seen on the right in the above picture. On the left is Shruti Kaushik, our Secretary and in the center is Mrs Neelu Tiwari, the Chief Guest at the Delhi Photo exhibition.
Message from the Secretary
Greetings from Saheli,

Let me begin with an apology for the extremely late dispatch of this newsletter. Being buried in work upto your nose is no excuse for such delays, but I do hope you forgive me.

For the first time in our short span of 2 years, we faced threats, abuses and insinuations from those who abused Shivani for years. Because of the extreme nature of threat, we have employed a night guard and installed a CCTV camera in our shelter and personally speaking, in my own home too. If running around from court to court was not enough, political and police pressure on us piled up to drop the case and let the girl go. But we stuck on. It has been a tremendous learning experience for us but it made us wonder, how would a simple honest man without powerful connections, ever get justice in this country.

Again on a personal note, it was a boon to finally have Ms Shivani Singh working for Saheli. It enables us to achieve more and hopefully symbolizes a step towards growth of Saheli as an institution. For ensuring that Saheli Trust lives on after each of us, we need to now focus on capacity and institution building. And words cannot express YOUR role in making Saheli, what it is today. Each and everyone who is getting this email has substantially contributed towards the evolution of Saheli and cannot be thanked enough. A big Thank you to you from all of us here in Saheli.

A request i would like to make to everyone is to please forward this email to your friends and relatives, so that they could be aware of our work. More the people involved, more encouragement and ideas will we get and things would only get better. So, please do forward our newsletters to those in your address book.

Also I would like to appeal to 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...
If you missed the back issues of our newsletter, please follow this link to see our past issues:


If you missed the back issues of our newsletter, please follow this link to see our past issues:


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