Karuna Trust

Our vision is of a world without prejudice, in which every human being has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background or beliefs. We aim to do this by challenging the ignorance and prejudice that trap people in poverty.
Mar 8, 2017

Project update and International Women's Day

Before School Club
Before School Club

Thanks to your generosity, we are getting closer to reaching our fundraising target so that we can help more girls and young women from Vishrantwadi, Pune transform their lives through education.

We plan to help 1,000 girls like Priti to benefit from educational support classes. These classes provide vital small-group and individual tuition to girls who cannot get the support they need in overcrowded school classrooms. Our Support Classes give them 3 hours of dedicated support a day, and our girls are making fantastic progress compared to when they started.

The girls can also learn about their rights, have the confidence to delay early marriage and stand up against sexual harassment.

On International Women's Day, we will be running a variety of activities across our projects to raise further awareness of women's and girls' rights.

We wanted to let you know that our project is taking part in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund which gives us the opportunity to secure additional matched funding for the year, based on the number of donors. In addition, on International Women's Day (Wednesday 8th March),donations will be matched at 30%, up to $250 per donor, until funds run out.

Find out more about the The Girl Fund: https://goto.gg/3942 

Taking part
Taking part
More school club
More school club
Mar 6, 2017

A new perspective for tribal slum women

Young tribal women coming for livelihood training
Young tribal women coming for livelihood training

Among the most marginalised people in India are tribal communities. They live in spots separate from other slum dwellers. It hasn't been easy for the Bahujan Hitay project team to include women from the tribal Pardhi community. During the first weeks of building rapport with the community the team was hardly welcome at all. With patience and perseverance they have now reached out to a group of women who participate in a sewing class. The social situation of these women is pathetic even in the Indian context. Being marginalised and discriminated against for centuries women of this community face extreme oppression also by their male family members. It’s the task of women and children to beg in trains and at cross roads in the cities. Women always need to have a baby with them to appeal to people for donations which increases the birth rate. The habit of begging means of course that children miss out on school a lot. Hardly any Pardhi woman has finished school, most drop out after a few years. The women are denied all own decision making, the families decide when and whom they have to marry. Child marriages are common and most women deliver first as teenagers. They also have no choice for their health or pregnancies. The custom requires that they deliver on their own without skilled birth attendance let alone hospital. Thereafter they are considered impure for 7 days during which they are secluded on their own with their new born. By this the death rate for both mothers and babies is much higher than the Indian average.

This is the background on which a group of 10 Pardhi women has over the course of months managed to be allowed the attendance of a sewing class. The BH Amravati team has decided to not run the class in the hamlet as they normally do but to bring the women into their training centre. It means an exposure to a completely new world for these women who are never allowed into other communities’ houses and who live in filthy unhygienic huts surrounded by rubbish. Abhayanavita, the project leader says: "After a couple of visits the women became cleaner and more carefully dressed. They enjoy the training and the exchange with the team which also includes counselling." Now the team can visit the hamlet and will be invited to stay instead of straight being chased away.

It will need much more patience to help the women change their lives for the better. It’s the first step to work with this difficult to access community which has been neglected and overlooked for long.

Tribal girl discussing
Tribal girl discussing
Feb 28, 2017

Pratika Back in School

Pritika, 7 years old, is from the village of Kharadi in Maharashtra, India. She lives with her mother, father and younger sister in a two roomed house made of mud and tin roof. Her father works as a daily laborer and makes around £40 per month.

Both Pratika’s mother and father are illiterate and so were not able to help Pratika in her studies. With little help in her studies from her parents Pratika started falling behind. Her family struggled to afford school materials for her. Pratika had no school bag or note books or stationary. She was teased by other students and didn’t want to attend classes. So she began to miss a lot of school days. Pratika’s mother also began to keep her at home to help with domestic chores.     

The project team became aware of Pratika’s case through her school teacher. The team visited her parents to talk with them about the importance of getting an education for Pratika. They explained that educating girls meant she would be able to get a job just like a boy and take care of them in old age. The team also provided Pratika’s parents with school material for Pratika so she would not be teased in class.   

Now Pratika is attending school regularly and is doing well in her studies. Without the intervention of the project team Pratika probably would have dropped out of education and would be following her mother into early marriage and domestic chores. Thanks to all the project’s supporters for helping Pratika to build a new future for herself.                   

 
   

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