Maitri India

Mission: Promote primary health, education and restore human rights to empower India's most vulnerable populations. Maitri defends human rights and strengthens communities through individual and community empowerment with advocacy, education, community-based program development, and networking. We work with Destitute Widows, Members of uniformed services and their families, Migrant workers and their families, Survivors of domestic violence, Underprivileged children, HIV/AIDS affected people.
May 13, 2015

In Honor of Abandoned Widows This Mothers Day

Widows in warm embrace at Maitri Ghar
Widows in warm embrace at Maitri Ghar

Sarla got married at the age of 14 to Sharma, a 40 year old man. He was extremely agressive in nature and was an alcoholic as well. Under the inflence, Sharma was often violent towards Sarla, even after the birth of their only daughter. Due to the domestic violence she was suffering Sarla left her husband with her daughter a year later and started working in a shop as a helper. Unfornately a few months after she left, her husband found her wherabouts and took their daughter along with Rs 10,000 from the shop. After working for three years at the shop, Sarla remarried; he was a father of 1 son and 3 daughters. Out of his love for her, Sarla's husband bought a house in her name. To Sarla's surprise, a few years later, her daughter came back and convinced her to go and be with her in Jaipur. Being her only daughter, Sarla decided to go. How ever, in Jaipur Sarla’s daughter took all her money and threw her out onto the streets. After this humilating incident, Sarla returned to her house. On coming back, she fell sick and to make matters worse, her step daughter made her sell the house to pay for her own treatment. Now, Sarla was left with no place to stay, nor did she have her husband later as he had passed away. With their father gone, the step children refused to allow her to stay with them. In the midst of her struggle, a well wisher fortunately introduced her to Maitri. She now lives at our Old Age Home secure and happy at heart. 

Across India, thousands of widows are living a life of misery, loneliness and poverty. How ever, with the continued support of generous donors like you, Maitri has been able to alleviate some of their pain.

In 2010, Maitri began making efforts for the welfare of destitute widows through daily mid day meals. Today, we have the privilege of having constructed two old age homes and take care of 100 widows living there. The money raised especially through you, has helped us expand activities, sustain this project and get more widows the care and love they deserve.

As a contributor you would be glad to know that with funds you have donated, the construction of the ground floor along with a courtyard of our second Old Age Home is complete. In addition, a refrigerator, water cooler, light bulbs, and ceiling fans have been fitted. Further more, 50 beds, mattresses, pillows, sheets and cupboards have been procured and installed. This achievement is noteworthy as it enabled us to already move in 45 widows as residents. On 5th of May 2015, Maitri officially inaugurated this housing facility and in commemoration widows received a special mid day meal and celebrated with song and dance.

Currently, 68 women reside in Maitri Ghar, Vrindavan while others to be sheltered are in process of being screened. The resident widows are being provided 200g of milk, 2 slices of bread and a cup of tea every day in addition to their daily mid day meals. A recent collaboration with the RK Mission Hospital has made ensured that a doctor makes regular visits to the Home.

To protect the residents of both the Old Age Homes from disease brought in from mosquitos and flies, we have installed wire meshing on all windows and other openings.  

Widows reside at both Maitri Ghars in much comfort and peace, yet many of them still miss the company of their families and loved ones. In fact, while many of us proudly celebrated the mothers in our lives this Mothers Day, these women carry the crushing weight of being rejected by their families. 

In light of this occasion, celebrating mothers and motherhood, Maitri would like to invite you to honour widows in our care. Their needs are pretty simple and all they require is hygienic living, a square meal a day and some basic necessities. On May 13th, GlobalGiving is matching EVERY eligible donation on our Bonus Day! In the first-ever Pro-Rated Bonus Day, the matching percentage will be decided at the end of the day based on this formula: ($75,000/Total Amount Raised) x 100 = Matching Percentage

There is such great satisfaction seeing the sparkle come back into a widow’s eyes. Your gift is touching her heart and soul, and for her, it is priceless.

Special mid day meal served at Maitri Ghar - 2
Special mid day meal served at Maitri Ghar - 2
Celebrating having a home away from home
Celebrating having a home away from home
A widow smiles as she gets fruit after her meal
A widow smiles as she gets fruit after her meal
A look at one of the dorms at Maitri Ghar - 2
A look at one of the dorms at Maitri Ghar - 2
Mar 18, 2015

Breaking Stigmas - Festival of Colors for Maitri's widow mothers

Dear Maitri friend, 

It turned out to be a different and memorable Friday,  the 4th of March 2015 for hundreds of widows at Maitri's Old Age Home as their white attire was smeared in different hues when they played Holi - a Hindu festival of colours. 

Ostracized by society, abandoned and rejected by their own family after the death of their husband they are forced to wear white clad saris, with no colour on their physical being. Breaking a centuries-old tradition that prohibited Hindu widows from any and everything that had to do with festivity, hundreds of them from Radha Kund and Vrindavan enjoyed the festival of colours with the Maitri family and friends.

This year 100 widow mothers joined in the celebration at Maitri Ghar and Ageing Resource Centre, feeling acknowledged by the community as women and individuals who are looked upon with dignity and respect. The event, with the presence of many well wishers brought cheer and joy, with a rainbow of colours and flowers to every widow mother present. Dancing with joy to the beat of the drums, they laughed, hugged and celebrated their being; their womanhood.

Being part of and witnessing the breaking of this ongoing taboo where merry making was out of bounds for the widows was a very satisfying and heartening experience for Maitri. 

To mark the celebration Maitri also distributed a special mid day meal to all widows present, along with a sari, toothpaste, bathing soap, Rs 10 and hair oil. 

Thank you for contributing to Maitri's Old Age Home and in turn enabling the women living here to celebrate a festival, breaking away from years of social stigma prevalent in society. Maitri is indeed encouragued by the positive changes seen in the widow mothers who have moved in to the old age home. This is in turn has motivated us to construct another home in a co location for 100 other widows in a village called RadhaKund, Mathura. 

As we go forward, Maitri would like to further intensify our engagement with issues associated with abandoned and destitute widow mothers. We believe, together with you, we have the potential to offer sustainable services to elderly women in need.

Anjali was a resident of West Bengal. She got married at the age of 22. Her husband belonged to an affluent family so he never found reason to get a job. Anjali's husband treated her well and they had only one son together. However, he died after his first few years. Later in life Anjali's husband passed away as well and so she went to her mother's house for shelter. To her dismay she did not feel welcomed but felt she was a burden to her family. Soon, Anjali made her way to Vrindavan in search of peace and refuge. She now lives in MaitriGhar along with other widow mothers like her. 

Special mid day meal served to widows for Holi
Special mid day meal served to widows for Holi
Jubilation of endurance
Jubilation of endurance
Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your support!
Distribution of saris to widow mothers
Distribution of saris to widow mothers
Mar 18, 2015

Hope and fulfillment

Reproductive health meeting
Reproductive health meeting

Fewer people live in poverty than 10 years ago. If we continue, we could end poverty in one generation - Jeff Skoll

Maitri believes that education is not only a right but an essential tool for children's empowerment. Our after school programme has in a big way contributed to many underprivileged children's enjoyment of this basic right. More over, at present the programme has a total of  104 students that are being benefitted by accessing supportive education at Maitri's 3 co - located centres. 

In the pursuit of our mission we can not forget your contribution and support. The timely help given has enabled us not only to continue the work that we are already doing but has also expanded our reach. Further more, you have supported and encouraged children who will one day grow to be educated adults. Not only will they one day be placed well in their professional careers but will also be well adjusted in the social strata.

Maitri has begun in collaboration with TeachIndia, English literacy classes for youth. Currently 13 students are enrolled in this programme. Further more, a health camp was held last month, in 2 co located slum areas every week to create awareness on general hygiene and oral health. In addition, two health meetings were held with young girls in the community to educate them on reproductive health and sanitation. Lastly,  a clean hand campaign was hosted, attended by 20 students who were taught how to wash their hands correctly among other hygiene methods. 

Your commitment for the cause has helped us to overcome challenges and we have been able to bring substantial changes in the lives of underserved children and expect to continue this in the near future also. More importantly, many families have been made proud by the achievements of their children. 

Rekha  comes from an impoverished family in a nearby local slum, where she lives together with her parents and siblings.  Since her father works all day as a driver and her mother is unwell, Rekha shoulders most of the household responsibilities. The constant pressure to run the household while taking care of her family has made it difficult for her to pursue her education. Rekha is determined to study, succeed, and become financially independent. But these things are difficult to achieve without the proper support that she needs. Her drive to learn and grow brought her to Maitri's after school programme, where she has been taking sewing lessons along with her non-regular college courses.  Rekha is proud of the basic skills she has gained and is excited to learn to sew more intricate things like Women's suits. Rekha appreciates being able to sew clothes for her family and dreams of opening her own tailoring boutique in the future.

 Rekha has a lot of responsibility having to look after her siblings and mother, which is a task that is both time-consuming and requires a lot of energy. With these kinds of obligations, it is difficult to pursue one’s own ambitions. Rekha works hard to fulfill their family duties, while also learning new skills that can benefit her economically as well as give her more opportunities.

Today, starting at 9:00:01 EDT, GlobalGiving will be matching donations at 30% until 23:59:59 EDT until matching funds have run out. There will also be two $1,000 prizes awarded at 23:59:59 EDT on March 18th. A small support from your side can bring profound change in the lives of many underserved children.

Ready for their workshop on general hygiene
Ready for their workshop on general hygiene
Dental health camp
Dental health camp
Rekha
Rekha

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $17
    give
  • $32
    give
  • $80
    give
  • $162
    give
  • $470
    give
  • $950
    give
  • $2,000
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $17
    each month
    give
  • $32
    each month
    give
  • $80
    each month
    give
  • $162
    each month
    give
  • $470
    each month
    give
  • $950
    each month
    give
  • $2,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?