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Aug 9, 2018

Food rations for 10 families

Arjina and Family
Arjina and Family

Arjina and her husband are rag pickers.  They live on the street in a makeshift shelter with their three children. Last week the police tore down their home. This week, thanks to your generosity, 10 very needy families including Arjina's received emergency food rations.

The monsoon rains have been unusually heavy in Kolkata this year and this has a particularly severe impact on families who live on the pavements, with only plastic sheeting and other scavenged materials to keep out the rain.  There are a number of families living like this, dependent largely on rag picking, on the street beside one of Kolkata's biggest municipal hospitals.  Last week, the police decided to clear the pavements by ripping down the tarpaulin shelters, leaving families with no homes and  no protection at all against the weather.  Tiljala SHED appealed to a local benefactor who immediately arranged for tarpaulins to be delivered to the desperate families.  And food rations were distributed from this Global Giving project.  Both Tiljala SHED staff and, of course, the beneficiaries are delighted that these funds are ready to be deployed in such circumstances.  Thank you so much for your generous contributions and please pass this on to your friends and families.  The more funds that come in, the more families can be helped in an emergency.

Your donations have given them relief this week – each family received a pack containing dry rations: rice, dal (lentils) chana dal (dry chickpeas), oil and soybean protein.  The mothers are delighted – at least the children won’t go to sleep hungry for a few days.

Thank you very much from all these vulnerable families

Arjina's Story
"Arjina is 32 years old is a rag picker and lives on the pavement near ESI Hospital. There are five members in the family (2 daughters + 1 son).

Her younger daughter studies in Class IV and her other daughter studies in Class II. Her son studies in Kindergarten. Arjina and her husband work together as a rag pickers.  But this income is not enough for running the household expenses.  Sometimes the family goes to bed without food.

Without the supplementary ration support the family would starve. They sleep in the open pavement. During the rainy season, the conditions becomes very difficult as they sleep under a tarpaulin. Local goons and police are a daily harassment for this family. The young girls do not have any security. The local political goons drink alcohol nearby their temporary makeshift structure and takes away water which is being stored for the family drinking purpose. With Tiljala SHED ration support, the family will not starve hopefully. But this one of a family who needs regular support as they are more likely to starve. Since they are basically on the footpath, diseases are more prevalent among them. Diarrhoea, Malaria, High Fever, Coughing are regular problems and found in almost all the homes." 

 

It costs Rs 1200 (£13 or USD25)  to provide a week's dry rations for a family of 6

A family eats together
A family eats together
With donation of dry rations
With donation of dry rations
Jul 26, 2018

Zaira wants to be a Teacher

Zaira then and now
Zaira then and now

This is Zaira.  She joined the Global Giving sponsorship programme when she was just 4 years old.  She lives in a 100sq ft rented room in the Tiljala slum with her family of five.  Her father earns just Rs4000 (£45 or USD58) per month as a labourer.  When the parents approached Tiljala SHED, we thought Zaira was too young.  However her mother, Nazni, told us how Zaira was already loving primary school.  Her parents were so keen that their daughter should have this chance and that they would do everything they could to support her. All her mother wants is for Zaira to get an education and have a better chance in life than she had herself. How could we say no?   I am so delighted to report that 2 and a half years later, Zaira is doing really well.  She has just completed class 3.  She scored an astonishing 87% in her year end exams and still loves school.   She says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. 

For Zaira’s family sponsorship means that they do not have to go without food or get into debt in order to provide Zaira with the books, school bag, shoes and uniform that she needs.  She’ll receive extra tuition where she needs it; she will attend a variety of cultural, arts, sporting events; she is a member of the Gyan Azhar library where she can study, learn computer skills, read and borrow books.  The family also receives a small allowance to ensure that Zaira gets good nutrition.

It costs just £27 a month to sponsor a girl like Zaira.

Zaira with her mother and sister
Zaira with her mother and sister
Jun 18, 2018

Why Compassionate Lending is so Important

Ishrat with husband and grandson
Ishrat with husband and grandson

When everything went wrong for Ishrat, she was very lucky that donors like you had supported her through Tiljala SHED’s livelihood programme.  Ishrat was born into a large rag picking family, had no education and was married off at 14. Ishrat and her husband Nasir have 3 children. They run a sack-selling business: they buy old sacks, sort them and then sell them on.  They used to make a profit of about Rs7000 (£78 or USD100) per month which was just enough to feed the family – but they had no way of improving their income without an injection of capital.  So Ishrat approached Tiljala SHED for a loan of Rs15000 to enable them to expand the business.  They rented a godown (warehouse) increased their stock and improved their monthly income by a further Rs3000

Access to financial services and to credit is one of the most effective ways the ultra-poor can help themselves out of the cycle of poverty.  Kolkata’s rag pickers are so poor, though, that normal banks won’t lend them money.  Money lenders charge extortionate interest rates and families can find themselves deep in debt when they cannot repay a loan.  Tiljala SHED’s livelihood programme exists to help the poorest of the poor – not to exploit them.  We understand that things go wrong, people fall sick and need to cover medical costs, businesses don’t always grow as fast as people want.  In Ishrat’s case the godown and all her stock were burned to the ground in December last year.  They need to start all over again.

Ishrat will be given a further loan to help her build up her business again and she is on very relaxed repayment terms.  She wants to pay back what she owes but she does not need the added stress of growing debt.  Mita, Mijanoor and the rest of the team at Tiljala SHED who run this programme with such care and humanity are there to help Ishrat and her family improve their lives.

Thanks to you and other donors Tiljala SHED can give families like Ishrat’s a second chance.  Please consider a further donation today so that we can help more families like Ishrat’s.  There are currently 90 families waiting for small loans.

Since April 2016 £48,000 (USD63,000) has been disbursed to 166 families.  £28,600 has been repaid so far and loaned out again to a further 116 families.  Total 282 families have been helped.  The present recovery rate is 97%.

 
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