Greetings to you all from a very very Hot Bihar, it was recently 46C ( thats 115F) . we are praying for the rains to come soon!
Firstly in this report I feel I must mention a micro project which was very much attached to this appeal and has due to the kindness and generosity of so many been successfully funded. This meant we are immediately able to start tailoring and sewing training in addition to craft skills which is a huge boost for the girls. ( see the photo above)
How things have changed here in our area of Bihar. One of the main aims of the centre was to increase community awareness of child trafficking as we cannot have our eyes and ears everywhere. We recently had a further meeting with the Railway Protection Force, (these are the armed guards that travel on many running trains) and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the traffickers to move children. Several agents involved in this "trade" have been arrested as a result of our cooperation with a number of law enforcement agencies. But of course Rescue is not enough, and we need to offer the opportunity to children to learn real skills in a supportive environment which can help change their lives around. This of course is the very nature of this appeal and we appreciate your support very much.
The Trust has a policy on all its appeals on Global Giving, that every single penny we receive from all appeals is directed immediately to the place of need, with no deductions in India for administration or any other purpose. That is our promise to you,
I hope you are feeling the warmth of summer, and with thanks again and good wishes to you all, i will ask one of the girls to write you all a personal note in our next update.
This is Sunita the project director with another report. The cold winter days have gone and the heat of summer awaits.
As you know this projects aims to train girls at risk in craft training to such a high level that they will be able to sell the stuffed toys and other items that they make.
We assist the older girls in getting safe accommodation together and our staff support them through this process. If you do not mind we would like to add tailoring skills to the courses we can offer these girls and we have a micro project called “Help girls at risk learn sewing skills” on Global Giving . Please take a look !!
But of course the girls also need a basic education and the photograph shows a volunteer from the UK helping out at the centre. You can visit our website (the link is below) for details of the volunteer programme but this year’s programme is already full.
There is also the problem of child marriage.The below is from a press report,
Bihar is one of the hotspots of child marriage in India as 51 percent girls there are married even before they are 18 years of age, officials said here Wednesday.
"Fifty-one percent of girls are married before they are 18 in Bihar," said N. Vijaya Lakshmi, managing director of the Women Development Corporation of the state government.
In her welcome address at a day-long workshop on the prevention of child marriage in Bihar, she said the mean age at marriage for girls is 17.4 in the state as against 19.5 for the country.
"Child marriage is rampant but reporting is poor. Lack of data is a key issue to make a difference," she said.
According to her, the vicious circle of poverty works in predictable patterns in Bihar. Poverty coupled with other social factors lead to early marriage. The child marriage then leads to deprivation of education and vulnerability to health risks and increases the risk of domestic violence and abuse.
I will leave you with quotes from some of our girls here at the centre,
“ Without you I have no other place to go, it is the first time in my life I have found love and care”
It is the first time I have found respect”
“We are just as important as boys”
Thanks for all your help, please remember March 13th is matching donation day on Global Giving so that’s the day to help!
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Greetings, Season’s Greetings indeed! from our centre to all of you and your family.
You know of all the work we do here, the abandoned infants , the trafficked children, it is our work with girls that particularly stands out in my opinion. Why?
Well there are no other facilities for girls in the whole district, (with its population of nearly half a million), and the girls that come to us find a safe and welcome place that has their best interests at the heart of everything that we do.
Let Shila (not her real name), tell you in her own words,
“ My family are desperately poor. Do you know they have a term here for girls in the villages- somebody else’s wealth. But my family did try and care for me, but when my father died from sickness everything changed. There are three brothers and three sisters in my family, I am the oldest I think I am about 14 years of age.
I had to go to Gaya to find work as a domestic servant in a rich families house, I was made to work so hard. I was beaten sometimes, but what really made me run away was when the owner of the house tried to force himself on me. I fought him off with a big saucepan! I ran into the night.
I did not know where to go, so I went to the station where a man talked to me in a kindly way, he had a card with him but I cannot read. But he talked on the phone and then a women came and she said we can help you, I fell into her arms crying. She was from Rescue Junction and I am living there now. I am learning crafts to such a standard I will be able to earn for my family and not have to leave the village again. I can do this after School because yes I am learning to read and write .
Thank you .
Not everybody is bad.
For the first time in my life I realise most people are good”.
Shila Kumari Age 14
Please help us help more girls like Shila .
We depend entirely on voluntary donations and every cent we receive WILL go towards helping the girls in their care, and the girls yet to come to us.
This is Sunita with another project report. We have been very busy at the centre as usual but of course for this report I want to concentrate on the many girls who we have recently helped.
Since the last report my team and I have recieved two girls who just got seperated from their guradians, one who got on the wrong train , and four girls who had been trafficked, one who had actually ran away from the red light area after she was beated by a customer. Police enquires are on. Of course because of the nature of these referrals we cannot show a picture of the unforturnate victims .
But of course the pupose of this appeal is to provide Craft Training for girls at risk, and help them earn an independent source of income. But it is more than that. We help re-settle girls either safetly in thier home communities or even in independent groups. This work is the very begining and we need your support so we can offer more opportunties for a decent life for these girls.
Look out for a personal story in a girls own words in the next report. Also please see a link below to a very good article about the nature and scale of the trafficking problem from Bihar from the Guardian, a British Newspaper.
With thanks for all your help and support,
Poverty is a curse. In Barachatti in Bihar on August 28, 2010. Tejan Kumar father of three daughters died .Tejan Das his wife was the sole support of his three daughters. But after his death they were destitute. If that were not bad enough his wife because with little source of income died shortly afterwards. The three orphaned girls had no food at home. Without any money the eldest daughter buried her mother. Concerned villagers feared they too in time may starve but gave what little spare food they had.
A local rice dealer also gave some food but the girls had no-one to care for them.
It was reported their mother had indeed died of hunger, giving up her food for her children.
The district administration came into action. First People of the chairman, Deepak Kumar said that 15 September 2010 Tejan's three daughters were living here at Rescue Junction Gaya. First Suni of Tejan elder daughter was admitted in school for proper education and now she is studying in Class 7. Today on June 2012 two others daughter of Tejan who was living with Rescue Junction are now also admitted in Ambedkar Residential School, Manpur for better and proper education. Rescue project director Mrs. Sunita Sharma and Counsellor Amit Kumar said that both girls have been sent to school with all their necessary things. On every vacation all the girls will come to Rescue Junction for break and it can treated as their permanent home. Even last summer vacation Soni the elder sister came to Rescue Junction and spent her vacation with her younger sisters and went back again to her school. But now all three girls are at school together, with a bright future ahead.
Rescue junction has the only facilities for Girls in the district. Suni in addition to their formal education also take the craft training on offer as part of the SIGNAL project and so will her sisters when they are older.
Please help us keep this vital center open and keep the programme running. Every cent donated and received by us from Global Giving will be used for the maximum benefit of the girls and from Global Giving funds because they are restricted are never used for any other purpose than project support.
There is an appeal for Rescue Junction generally on Global Giving but everything donated for the project only goes towards our vocational training and support for girls in need under this special initiative.
We do not even take any administration costs.
So please spread the word and enable us to give the very best care we can for the girl child in need..
Thanks to all of you who have helped,
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