As reported in last dispatch this project has created new centres for girls in new localities. In Ambarnath, a satellite town/ semi urban area near Mumbai, 35 girls from a shelter cum orphanage undertook new activities for drawing people’s attention to issues of girls’ education, their security and adequate nutrition for them. They underwent training in photography, slogan and placard making and in street theatre. They took out a procession with placards and slogans. They also wrote a script and performed a skit in the streets near the local railway station. And finally they submitted a formal letter to the local member of their Municipal Corporation to demand facility of public toilets for women and of garbage disposal that barely exists there. This was the first time that girls ever took public action.
A health group and a local school have extended cooperation to the project to initiate life skills training for girls in Malvani, a former village now in city limits. 81 girls attended a gender and health fair in which they learnt about health, hygiene and nutrition through games and creative activities like cap making and also writing to express their views and demands. They are undergoing ‘ Know Yourself’ and ‘Know Your Community’ sessions to encourage them to acquire necessary skills for civic participation. Similar sessions were held in the Netivali village, a slum on a hill near the township of Kalyan. Here the group covered in this project is of dalit (formerly considered untouchable caste) girls. A dental check up for 30 was conducted and 4 cases are being followed up. A larger and more general health camp is being planned.
Photographs by girls were displayed at the prestigious Kala Ghoda art festival in February. The display was visited by thousands and received many positive remarks. Two girls from the Vacha’s photography workshops received second and third prizes respectively in an open competition for NGOs on the last day.
Vacha Team requests all our friends and supporters to continue donating generously to help us fulfill our target of reaching 300 girls. At the moment we also request those of you in USA to think of this project when you are preparing to file for tax returns. All donations given through global giving are 100% tax exempted in USA as The GlobalGiving Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization (EIN: 30-010-8263)
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