Jan 7, 2019

Sewing Machine update

Sambhali Trust runs 7 empowerment centres with about 30 disadvantaged women and teenage girls in each centre. Within the centre they learn to sew garments and practise embroidery as part of the vocational training that Sambhali Trust offers each participant for 12 months. This enables them to have a good all-round education and to be able to earn an income once they have completed their course. We aim to provide all these women and girls their very own sewing machine on graduation day which takes place in February each year.

This enables all these women the opportunity to earn a living from home, thereby giving themselves some financial independence and to be able to help support their family. For the teenage girls, it offers them another skill to produce their own clothes and go further and make a business if they are not returning to full-time education.

All these sewing machines are the result of your's and others’ generosity, without which we could not provide these machines. These sewing machines provide the start to hope and prosperity for these women, who would not be able to afford to buy these sewing machines alone.

One of the teenage girls in our Jodhpur Empowerment Centre, Aarti, was speaking to one of our tutors and how a sewing machine will help her in the future.

Aarti has been connected with Sambhali Trust for last one year. Here she learns stitching along with studies in Hindi, English, Maths and general knowledge workshops in one of Sambhali’s empowerment centers for disadvantaged women and girls. Before coming to center she didn’t know how to sew but since coming to the centre over the last few months, she has learnt how to measure, draft, make patterns and sew a variety of Rajasthani garments.  She now she sews clothes for herself and her family. Her family supports her to come to center and they are very happy too.

Aarti’s mother died in her childhood, therefore, after growing up she manages the entire housework of the house and after that comes to the center too. She had studied previously at school until 8th class (secondary school goes onto 12th Class).  With the support of the center she has filled in the form to take the 10th class exams and so that she can further pursue her studies. She is also earning money by sewing clothes for other people in her community. There are various activities organised in the center like taking particpants to movies and short trips for recreation of the Sambhali students. Aarti had never gone for a movie before, therefore for her it was a great experience. For all these things Aarti and all the ladies want to thank Sambhali family.

Aarti will be one of the young women who will receive one of the donated sewing machines in February. We thank you all for your support and we hope to try and raise as much as possible to enable all our graduating students to receive a sewing machine, which will improve their lives.


Dec 28, 2018

SOS Project update

Case Stories

SK Domestic Abuse

S came to the Sambhali office with her uncle, who is a friend of her father. He spoke to our counsellor and said that S was very upset in her marital life. Her in-laws harass her. He went on to say that she had been married for 10 years and has a 5 year old son. After 2 years of marriage everything was fine but then the in-laws and husband changed their behaviour and started to mentally torture her. They drank alcohol and verbally abused her together with her husband also drinking alcohol and beating her. For a long time, S continued to live this life, but when her child became old enough to go to school, she found that her husband didn’t do anything to arrange for her child’s education. Battles and fighting ensued between her and her husband and in the end, distressed by all the bad behaviour, she took her son to her father’s house. She wants her son to go to school and she wants to become self-sufficient herself, (she studied at school up to 8th Class).

Sambhali discussed with her the possibility of her attending the Graduates Sewing Centre in Sambhali to learn to sew garments and items on a fast-track basis in 2-months, after which time she could start to earn a living by producing stock for the Sambhali boutique. She is now attending the centre and feeling much better with her new life.

 A and F.  Domestic Abuse and Harassment

 A and F are 2 sisters and came to the Sambhali office with their mother and aunt. They have been married for 4 years to 2 brothers, but they find they are unable to stay in their in-laws house for more than a month at a time.  Both husbands drink alcohol and beat them and kick them out of the house. The husbands have had extra marital affairs with other women and F’s husband ran away with a minor girl, for which he is now in jail. Whenever they go to the in-laws house, where their husbands live, they suffer severe mental harassment and A’s husband asks them to do illegal work.

Both sisters are very upset by this behaviour and want a divorce from their husbands, to which their mother also agrees this is the best option. However, their economic situation is not good and hasn’t been able to allow them to go through the legal proceedings. So they came to Sambhali asking for advice.  Our Sambhali counsellor advised them that there is a Legal Services Help Centre in the High Court, where free legal advice and assistance are provided. Our counsellor also spoke to one of the staff at the Legal Services Help Centre and explained the situation. The next day F and A and their parents  went to the Centre to discuss their case using the free legal aid offered to them.

 C  Forced Marriage

 C called from a village in the Ganganagar district to say she was very upset and unhappy. She explained that she was 17 years old and her family wants to marry her forcefully, but she wants to get a better future by getting a good education. The person whom she was intended to marry was 11 years older than her and she didn’t want to marry him. Her mother also didn’t wish for her to marry him, but because of her financial situation, C’s grandmother was pressurising her mother to go ahead with the marriage. Her father has psychiatric problems and is in a hospital. C explained even if she looked for help in the village, the police would not help her because of the influence of her grandmother.

Sambhali suggested that C go to the District Court in Ganganagar, where she will be able to find the District Legal Services Authority, where she can pursue their help to stop the marriage because she is not yet 18 years old, lower than the minimum age to get married.

 N.  Domestic Abuse

 J called from Mumbai about his sister, N. His sister lives in Rajasthan and has been married for 15 years and has 2 children. Her husband works at the mobile shop in the local town. For the last 2-3 years, N’s husband has been troubling her and torturing her in every way. His sister has been phoning her mother regularly asking for advice. Now N’s husband has started assaulting J’s sister and she is becoming more and more stressed and very depressed by all her husband’s behaviour.

J asked Sambhali for advice on how to prevent her husband inflicting this abuse onto his sister. Sambhali’s counsellor suggested to J. that N’s husband should be given the opportunity of counselling at least once to see if this could make a difference. He was given the number of the Police Women’s Help Line in Jaipur near their home town, so that he could talk to them and arrange for them to give counselling to his sister’s husband and at the same time put pressure on him to stop being violent. If her husband does not improve with his counselling, then a complaint could be filed with the police there.

 S Domestic Violence

S called and said that she was very upset with a family problem. She came into the office the next day with her mother to speak to our counsellor andt explained that she had been married for 4 years and had a 3 year old daughter. Her marriage was a love marriage and also an inter-caste marriage. Her father had died before their marriage and in his place she got a government job on the Railways. For this reason her mother and elder unmarried sister live in the Railways quarters with her. Her husband wanted her mother and sister to live elsewhere, but this is not possible, because she got her job and living quarters instead of her father, so she cannot leave her mother and sister alone.

Many times the fight got so much, that her husband attacked her. Two days beforehand, her husband had got beaten up and ran away from home. S asked our Sambhali counsellor for advice as to how to have a settled family life.  The Counsellor asked for her husband’s telephone number and she invited them both together for a discussion. S’s husband complained that S only looked after her own family and didn’t want to go his parents’ house at all. After much discussion, it was decided that both of them would need to learn to respect the parents of the other and that at least once a month, S should go to her husband’s village with her husband to visit his parents. The counsellor also stated that S’s husband should respect S’s parents and allow them to remain with them. She also explained that their 3 year old child needed both a mother and father, so that they should work on their relationship for the sake of their child.

Oct 1, 2018

Project Update


Attached are a few more case stories from the those women who contact the SOS HelpLine.

S. Domestic Abuse

S called from Jaipur and said she was very upset about her married life, and wants to separate from her husband. She said she had been married for 7 years and has 2 young daughters. Her husband drinks too much and abuses her. She said when her children were very small, she could cope with it, but now they are getting older, she doesn’t want them to be disturbed by her husband’s behaviour and what she feels is mental torture. She is educated and can look after her children herself. Her husband says she can keep the elder daughter but not the younger one. S wants to keep both daughters together.

Sambhali gave S the number of the HelpLine in Jaipur and advised her to go there and try and get her husband some counselling, so he could accept that he was having difficulties and needed help. If her husband was not happy after counselling then the HelpLine in Jaipur would be able to provide Legal Help so that she can easily separate and keep both her daughters. After this advice, S felt more relaxed.

 M. Domestic Abuse

R. was calling from Kisangarh in Rajasthan to say that he was very upset about his sister. His sister has been married for 3 years and has a 2 year old daughter. Her husband beats her. Being very disturbed by all this, M came to her father’s house, , but unfortunately her father’s condition is such that he cannot keep R’s sister and her daughter. R. tried to take his sister back to her in-laws but said her husband is not ready to keep her and said that they should get divorced.  R. went to the Kisangarh police station to register a case against her in-laws, but the police refused.

R. came to Sambhali to ask for advice. Sambhali said that there is a women’s empowerment department in Kisangarh and that he should go and talk to them, that a local woman is being deprived of her rights and being harassed. As the local Police are not listening to their story, the Government’s Women Empowerment Department will take the complaint to the police themselves.

 P. Domestic Abuse

P came to Sambhali with her sister and daughter-in-law. She said that her husband drinks a lot and also beats her. After the last assault P went to the nearest police station, but the police did not write any complaint against her husband as her husband was able to bribe the police. P also has 2 sons, the elder of whom is married. P showed signs of injury on her body. Her husband would take her out of the house and beat her and say that she is no good for him. She earns a living by doing cleaning work in her local vicinity and earns only about 3000-4000 rupees per month and so is unable to rent a house alone.

Sambhali supported her by helping her to write a complaint to the police station and whit his pressure, the police took action against her husband to stop him physically assaulting her.

 N. Domestic Abuse

N called Sambhali to say that she was very upset with her in-laws and her husband. She came to Sambhali’s office with her parents. Her in-laws live in Bikaner. N was a student at Sambhali’s Fatima Empowerment Centre 4 years ago and she has been married for the last 4 years and has a 2 year old daughter. She has that her husband and mother-in-law have said abusive things to her and teased her in many ways, several times.

N was troubled by the abuse and tension from her husband and in-laws, and so left to go to her father’s house in Jodhpur. Her husband phoned her but he has not tried to come to talk to her and come and collect her. Sambhali asked for the telephone numbers of her husband and father-in-law so that they could talk to them. On the second day after the phone-call, her husband, father-in-law and other relatives came to Sambhali and then N. was called in and arrived with her mother and sister.

The matter was settled by explaining to both parties the situation and getting them to agree with a written agreement that in future N’s husband would not disturb her and would behave well to her to which the father-in-law and another relative also signed. Sambhali also gave N. their telephone number, if there is any problem in future.

 R. Verbal and Sexual Harassment

R phoned from a city in Madhya Pradesh and said she was very upset about her husband. She has been married for 3 months and was living in Rajasthan where her husband is a teacher. R said it was a second marriage for both of them and that her husband is mentally disturbed, mentally tortures her and sexually harasses her. Disturbed by all this, she returned to her father’s house. Her husband still calls her from different numbers to her different relatives, repeatedly. She did not want to live with him any longer. Sambhali advised her that if she didn’t want to live with him, no-one would force her and there is no need to fear this person.

Sambhali advised R to complain to the police station in M.P. by going to the women’s police station and say that her husband is pestering her.

 P. Other

P. works as a cook at one of Sambhali’s boarding home for young girls. One day she came into the Sambhali office very distraught and said that she was worried about the agricultural land in her village of Solyankitala near Setrawa. A Rajput family has built a house on her family’s land and occupied it. She told the police in the nearby police station, but the police didn’t taken any action against them, because they were bribed. She said there was no-one in the village to help her because the political party is very strong and so everyone was afraid of them. Sambhali advised her to tell all the details to the Rural Superintendent of Police and after hearing the case, the Rural SP immediately took action in the village.

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