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

Greetings from Saheli.

August has been a hectic month, mainly involving days of convincing parents to let their children study and we did achieve some degree of success, managing to get two girls to college. Read on to know the details.
Getting them to college....
One of the toughest challenges we face while doing field visits is helping girls study. In many cases parents stop the girls education after Class 8 or, if the girl is lucky, 12th. Then these girls sit at home for a year or two and get married by the time they are 18.

In the last two months 13 such girls admitted in formal schooling (schools/colleges/ distance learning programs) after convincing their parents to let the girls study. Ofcourse, the number is minuscule when compared to the size of the problem, but given our resources that is the best we can do. Getting each girl permission to study involves visiting the household in the village a couple of times, first convincing the mother and finally the father. In almost 99% cases, the deal involves us paying for the education as well.

In the picture above is Gulnar, 18 years with her very supportive mother. She had finished her 12th last year and was then denied further education by her father. After over 10 days of repeated visits and cajoling, we finally got the father to reluctantly give permission and on 18th August, we finally got her admitted in a girls only college.

We firmly believe, that each life matters so each and every "victory" of ours is heart warming.
Life never ceases to amaze you....
Just when you think you've seen enough, life springs another surprise and teaches you another lesson.

The picture above is a Google Map snapshot of a remote Himalayan village called Maungi, you have to drive 6 hours from Dehradun into the mountains and then take an hours walk to reach the village. For those familiar with the area, the hill station of Mussorie is in the right lower corner of the picture, which will give you an idea of the location of the village.

Anshika, a 12 year old girl was found roaming around Gandhi Park, a central area in Dehradun, aimlessly. A passerby called the Child helpline and she was brought to us. Anshika said that both her parents died two days ago in a motorcycle accident and she was all alone and someone put her on a bus to Dehradun. After making her comfortable and feeding her, we checked her bag which had school books and in one of the copies was a mobile number of "Mummy".

On calling the mother, it came to light that both the parents were alive and the girl had run away from home after being reprimanded for stealing. Apparently the girl had a compulsive desire to steal, just for the sake of it and had been caught a number of times before. We confronted the girl with this information and she broke down and confirmed what her mother told her. We got her a counseling session, called her parents and in a few days the girl happily went back home, hopefully she won't steal again.

We almost believed her tragic story of her parents death, it was the accidental discovery of her mother's number, scribbled in a copy, which led to the unfolding of the true story. One more lesson learnt.
Education @ Your Doorstep

Our efforts to teach village girls, who are denied education beyond middle school by their parents, under the Education@YourDoorstep campaign, was in full swing in August. Two new classes were started bringing the total number of girls who enrolled in our campaign in the last 7 months to 130. The picture above is the inauguration at Naya Goan and the one below is at Mehuwala Mecca Masjid area.

Two, one hour classes, are held each day under this, one of them being Basic Computers and the other Spoken English. These classes last for 2 months, with 3 tests in between. From our experience so far, the girls pick up computers very well but English per se takes time.

Message from the Secretary
Dear Everyone,

August is a nice period to be in Dehradun, the weather is pleasant with the Monsoon rains withdrawing.
Our efforts to empower rural girls have been in full swing. The most satisfying part of the whole thing is to meet girls who have finished the course some time ago and having them tell you how much it changed their attitude towards life and how much more confident were they of themselves once they went through the course.

August was also the time of school exams and I am most happy to tell you that everyone in the Saheli Shelter has done really well. with marks being among the top four or five in the class. Coming from such troubled backgrounds, it is heartwarming to see these children excelling in school.

Finances have been bad this month, with many of our regular donors, unable to help out presently for a variety of personal reasons. At present, we are really hard pressed for cash. I would there fore request everyone, that if you think we deserve it, please do lend a helping hand. There are a number of ways you could send us a donation, please click the link below to see the options:

http://www.sahelitrust.com/donate.asp

We have come a long way with your help, and I'm sure with your love and blessings we will over come each and every obstacle which comes in front of us.

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...
Read our Annual Report for the year 2016
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