Rohan is 9 and lives in a village 20km from Sangamner. Rohan is in class 3 and his younger brother of 7 is in class 2. Rohan’s father is a farmer but rainfall here is now much more irregular, and so they face many hardships through not being able to produce enough.They come from a low-caste background so getting employment or finding other sources of income is difficult.
Rohan and his brother were almost as if neglected in many ways, because their parents would be so busy. They were not bathing, in dirty clothes, with uncut nails and unkept hair.
He was selected for the School Health Volunteer Programme, that the may change his habits and encourage other children to do the same. He attended all the lessons abotu good health and personal hygiene. Continuous follow up by the social worker motivated Rohan to imporve his personal hygiene.
He has now started wearing clean clothes, wears shoes, bathes and cuts his nails regularly. He encourages his friends to do the same at school. This position has brought Rohan a new self-confidence. He has introduced basic hygienic practices to his younger brother and family.
Thank you for supporting this project and changing the lives and health of Rohan and all in his school and community. It means they will be healthier, less at risk from certain diseases, and more able to integrate into society without facing the stigma of looking 'poor' and 'low-caste'.
Your generosity is contributing to massive change for these individuals and the future of these villages.
Gouri is 5. She lives with her 2 brothers, who are 7 and 4, her parents. She is physically handicapped, not able to use one leg, which means she finds a few things more difficult than other children. Her father and mother work in a farm. The NISD créche worker visited Gouri's home a few times, whenever she was in the village, and saw each time that she was alone with her brothers in the day, while her parents worked.
When the créche worker finally met Gouri's mother, she explained that there was a créche in the village, and the different facilities avaliable there. Her mother was worried, but she was worried about her daughter everyday anyway, hence she used to leave her with her brothers, who would take care of her food and drink. It wasn't a great system - and sometimes the social worker found Gouri hungry and thirsty. Gouri's mother agreed to enrol her in the créche, though she remained concerned.
Now Gouri regularly comes to the créche, has new friends, and recieves extra attention from the créche worker which is making up for her previous neglect. It was difficult in the beginning for Gouri, but now she sings songs, knows some rhymes and can count from 1 to 10. She's smiling and happy.
Her mother now goes to work without having to worry about her daughter's safety. Her father is also happy that she's no longer unattended, and her brother has now also enrolled, leaving her older brother free to go to school.
Thank you for helping Gouri and her family, in the early years of her life.
Mrs Asha is 41, and lives in Nannaj Dumala, in a small house with her mother, daughter and son.
Her husband died 4 years ago due to AIDS. Since then Asha has had to bear the responsibility of looking after and educating her two children, as well as caring for her aging mother. She has very little money, supporting the whole family on an income of Rs 2,000 a month.
Before the project
Not having a toilet, and like many other poor families in the are, Mrs Asha, her children and her mother defecated openly in the village. For the 3 women of the family, this would mean waiting until dark or early morning. This caused stomach problems for the women, as well as exposing them to water-bourne diseases where people were openly deficating. It also affected the self-esteem of Mrs Asha, and especially her daughter. They were not aware of basic health and hygiene practice.
NISD began working in this village, and Mrs Asha started to get involved int he activities they were running. Through this, she came to learn much more about basic health and sanitation practices, and the risks to both themselves and others that the practice of open defication led to.
She was inspired to construct a toilet, and asked if NISD could help. The construction was mostly subsidised by NISD who provided the materials, with Mrs Asha contributing the rest from what she could save.
The whole family now use the newly construced toilet and understand the importance of basic hygiene practices. This also means they can go to the toilet when they want, which has saved all kind of health problems and difficulties - especially for Mrs Asha's elderly mother. The money that has been saved on doctors bills and travel can now be used for the children's education.
Thank you for helping Mrs Asha and her family to enjoy a freedom we would all wish to have. This would not have been possible without your help.
Parvej is 4. He lives with his parents, 2 sisters and grandfather. The entire family are dependent upon his father's irregular daily labour work, and so their financial condition is normally precarious.
Parvej and his 6-year-old sister both attend pre-school, where it was noticed that Parevej was quite underweight.The crèche worker and NISD doctor visited Parvej's home and so the condition that he was living in. He weighed 11kg and was diagnosed as being 'grade II malnourished'. Because the family had never been able to afford enough food, Parvej had already suffered from health problems.
The NISD doctor advised his mother to give Parvej supplementary nutrition, in the form of 'spirulina candies', twice a day. This supplementary nutrition was to be provided free of cost by NISD. The crèche worker also encouraged the mother to attend crèche meetings on health, nutrition and child care.
Parvej's weight and health are improving. He looks a lot healthier and happier. His mother has been attending meetings also, and enjoys meeting other mothers.
Because of your support Parvej's health problems are decreasing, and his future looks much brighter.
Amreen is 17 years old, and lives in the village of Kuran, with her mother, father, and 2 brothers in a small house made of mud with a tin roof. Her father, and both of her brothers are wage labourers. Her mother rolls bidi cigars. All of this work together generated a total of 3,000rs a month, which was not enough for basics for the family, such as food and clothes.
A very driven and bright girl, she completed her 9th standard of school despite the background of rural poverty that she comes from. Unfortunately, her family poverty prevented her from completing school before she could finish, as she had to stay at home to help her mother with the housework, and making bidis (Indian cigars) for extra income.
Amreen was determined to become skilled at something, so she could "stand on her own 2 feet" as well as contribute financially to the family. She began attending the 'youth employment training' offered by NISD in her village, learning how to sew, in February of this year. She knew that if she learned to do this, she would be able to earn money due to the strong demand for such a service. After beginning this training, she also began to take an interest in NISD's other activities, which greatly helped to improve her confidence.
Towards the end of her time training, her parents decided to help in buying a sewing machine. Doing work for neighbours, friends, and other villagers, she has been able to make an additional 2,000rs a month for the family. This will increase over time.
Amreen says "Now I can help my family from the money I earn. This was not possible before. Now I am proud that I can contribute to the family."
With such skills, and generating income through her work, Amreen will also be breaking ideas about the worth and abilities of girls. This will bode well, not only for Amreen's own future, but for all the girls and families who come into contact with her, who will be forced to confront their own assumptions.
Thank you all for funding this life changing work.
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Very best wishes,
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