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Mar 22, 2016

SOS Project Update

In 2015

SOS Panaah Services had 51 cases: 39 medical; 2 legal and 10 other. These women approach Sambhali when there is critical need; where Sambhali are able to help provide counselling and support as well as financial help with medical operations and treatment as well as legal aid when filing cases for divorce.

Nirbhaya Telephone HelpLine is a phone line available 12 hours a day and we have a dedicated member of staff, Mrs Manju Mehta who will take the calls and provide the assistance and help required. Most of the 308 calls are in connection with verbal harassment followed by domestic abuse cases, sexual abuse, forced marriage.

There are 2 cases that we help with long-term treatment until we can find an alternative source of funding:

1.Weekly dialysis for a woman with kidney disease

2. Medication for a woman with diabetes who also requires monitoring.

 Some examples of the SOS case stories helped by Sambhali:

1. Case: Domestic Abuse

S has two children.  Her husband beats her regularly, so she went to the police station to complain about him. The policemen then went to see her husband and talked to him, but the behaviour of S´s husband didn´t change – he beat her again. So S went to the police station again, but this time nobody wanted to talk to her. The policemen just ignored her.

S approached Sambhali to help her.

 Assistance provided by Sambhali:

We quickly phoned the police station to talk about S´s case. We asked them to arrest her husband so that she won´t face that domestic violence again. The police´s answer was that they will do that and and charge S's husband with this offence.

2. Case: Verbal Harassment

T. was married about 10 months previously in January 2015.The marriage took place quickly after 3 months following from the ring ceremony. T faced taunts and sarcastic remarks from her in-laws about dowry and other matters. T is the 2nd child of her parents, she has one elder sister and this is possibly the reason for a higher demand of dowry from the in-laws. T was educated and tried to adjust with her in-laws for seven months without telling anything to her family but when after some time she couldn´t handle it, she told them everything.

 Assistance provided by Sambhali:

We suggested to file a case against them for dowry and domestic violence and if she can´t see any future with her husband she should take divorce and can take time for mental harassment and continue with her studies for C.A. or C.S.

Final outcome:   T filed the case in the court and explained that she can´t adjust with her husband and in-laws and there is no future of her with her husband. Therefore she can file a case for divorce after 6 months and till then she will get maintenance. 

3. Case: Rape

V’s mother and father stay in Rameshwar Nagar, Jodhpur because they are doing construction work here. There was also another worker who came two days previously and who was staying near her house. The next day, V’s father went to Pratapgarh and this other worker took V to another place meanwhile and raped her. The next morning he dropped V near her house in a bad condition. There was a lot of blood.  After that she was brought to a hospital by the police. Then an unknown lady phoned Sambhali to say that the hospital is not really taking care of V. 

Assistance provided by Sambhali:

Immediately we went to the hospital and talked to the doctor and the nurse about her condition. We asked them to take care of her and met V’s father to give him 2000 Rps and we said to him that we will help him anytime. We said to the doctor that he should organise appropriate treatment and then whenever he needs financial help with the medication he should let us know.

Now Sambhali is also considering helping the father with a legal case against this man who raped his daughter. We suggested to file a case against the manager of the architecture company who employed this man who raped V because he did not check the credentials of this man - who is a criminal and escaped from jail -  before employing him.

4. Domestic violence/sexual harassment

In absence of S’s husband and brother-in-law, a neighbour came and started harassing and eve-teasing S. She started shouting, so her in-laws and children came. When they tried to catch the neighbour, he started beating everyone and tore the kids’ clothes. After being beaten up, S says that she fell unconscious and was hospitalised for three or four days. The police is only registering a case of violence, and not sexual harassment. S’s brother-in-law is asking for help, so that the police can register the case properly and they can get justice.

Assistance provided by Sambhali:

Sambhali Trust has informed the Garima female helpline in Jaipur and the State Women Department of S. case’s and S needs to provide the staff at the Garima Helpline in Jaipur with all the proof and discuss with them her case.

5. Medical need

M. 35 years, High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

M was suffering due to a fracture previously and has since suffered pain and swollen legs continuously. She also felt weak and dizzy. According to these problems she is physically not able to work. The doctor diagnosed her with diabetes and a high blood pressure. Sambhali provided her financial help for a treatment from a doctor as well as the necessary medicine.

The doctor recommended regular observations for the next 2-3 month for checking the sugar level and the blood pressure.

6. Case: Sexual abuse

M S a 22 year old woman from Pali Marwar in Jodhpur. M was working in a private school as a teacher. The headmaster of the school was previously a reporter and now he owns this school.  He called M for some work in the classroom.  She went to the classroom and got sexually abused by the headmaster. After that he blackmailed her with some photos he took while they have been in the classroom. In the meantime she got pregnant and their parents became aware of the situation. The parents filed a complaint against the headmaster with the police, but unfortunately because of the delay, the police were unable to arrest the headmaster as it was over 2 months before that the incident happened.  The headmaster used to torture M and her family to offer them some money and close the case. M and her parents did not take the money and wanted justice.

Assitance provided by Sambhali:

We supported her in the way of arranging a meeting with the General Inspector and the Senior Inspector of Jodhpur Police.  The General Inspector ordered the Pali Police station to send the case to the Jodhpur police station. After that the police could finally arrest the headmaster.

7. Case: Sexual Abuse:    

A is an 11 year old girl and her mother phoned Sambhali. On the way home from school in the school van, the driver dropped all of the students until it was just A left in the van. He then proceeded to rape her. When she arrived home, A was crying a lot and her condition was not good.

Assistance provided by Sambhali:

Sambhali quickly raised a complaint at the police station and they asked for a written statement from A. They also ordered the arrest of the man (under the Pokso Act) and asked the school to take action and file complaints against the van driver. We also provided her mother with the number of the women’s police helpline in Jaipur.

After the police complaint, and providing the statement, the police quickly arrested the man and alerted the school staff to this kind of case. The staff supported us in helping to arrest the driver.


Feb 17, 2016

Operation update

A smiling Pooja and her mother after the operation
A smiling Pooja and her mother after the operation

Many thanks to all those who donated for Pooja’s operation and treatment. We’re very happy to say that the operation has been successful and we also have funds for the after-care treatment and physiotherapy.


Friday, the 22th January 2016

On the 22nd of January, Pooja, two Sambhali Trust volunteers and a Sambhali Trust staff member travelled to the hospital for further discussions with the doctor regarding Pooja’s upcoming operation. We were able to tell the doctor that all the money for the operation had been fundraised, and made an appointment for the following Monday for some final medical check-ups. 

Monday, the 25th January 2016

The doctor gave Pooja a medical examination. He took x-ray photos of her legs and explained the operation in detail. Mrs Manju Mehta (the voice behind the Sambhali Trust domestic abuse helpline, working tirelessly as its principle caseworker) informed Pooja’s parents that the surgery could go ahead. She asked them to come to Jodhpur to sign the necessary permission documents. The doctor provided a preliminary date for the operation, which would occur in the first week of February.

Thursday, the 4th February 2016

The date for the surgery was decided to be on the 5th of February. Pooja’s parents arrived in Jodhpur and together with Pooja, a volunteer and Mrs Manju Mehta, they went to the hospital to sign the necessary documents. The doctor personally explained to the parents the details of their daughter’s operation. Pooja’s parents were overwhelmed by the donations and support for Pooja, and thankful that she could undergo such an important procedure that would otherwise be unaffordable. Pooja’s father called her the “role model“ of their village. Moving to Jodhpur and Sambhali Trust has given Pooja the opportunity to get a good education, learn the English language (thanks to her contact to so many English-speaking volunteers) and finally, improve her physical condition. Pooja’s situation would be very different, had she not come from her village to the Sambhali boarding home in Jodhpur back in 2012.

Pooja herself was very happy to see her parents again. She displayed great strength and bravery, knowing that that the procedure would help to improve her life, however at 14 years old, she still harboured an understandable fear of the operation, and so needed strong support.

Pooja did not go back to the boarding home that evening, instead staying in the hospital with her mother in preparation for surgery the next day.

Pooja’s operation : Friday, the 5th February – 3pm

The doctor was able to report that Pooja’s operation went very well, without any complications. Although the volunteers and the staff members were able to visit Pooja on Friday, directly after her operation, she had only just started to regain consciousness.

Saturday, the 6th February 2016

When Pooja was visited by volunteers at the Hospital on Saturday, she was not only fully conscious, but smiled during their whole stay. She told the volunteers that she didn’t feel any pain. It was noticeable how glad she was to have her mother remaining by her side.

The other boarding home girls had written an encouraging letter to Pooja which the volunteers were able to pass on, and she was very happy and thankful for their words.

Sunday, the 7th February 2016

Today the volunteers will bring her some English story books and painting material to keep her occupied for the remainder of her “boring” five day stay in hospital.

We are hopeful and confident that Pooja will make a speedy recovery from her operation and remain free from pain, and we are certain that she will meet the challenge to learn to walk again with the same strength and bravery that she has already shown. 

Since Wednesday the 10th February Pooja is back in the Boarding home and her mother is still by her side. The doctor comes twice a day to give her the necessary injections. On Sunday  14th February Pooja will go to the hospital again, to get a new bandage and we’ll talk with the doctor about the next steps of her recovery. 

The hospital in Jodhpur
The hospital in Jodhpur
The doctor who was consulted on the operation
The doctor who was consulted on the operation
Pooja reading all the good wishes from Sambhali
Pooja reading all the good wishes from Sambhali
Feb 5, 2016

Project Update

Boarding Home girls singing in the Competition
Boarding Home girls singing in the Competition

Firstly we are very happy to have reached our $10,000 target to help support the women in the Sheerni Microcredit Project and improve the lives of the 22 girls in the Boarding Home. On behalf of Sambhali Trust I would like to thank you very much indeed for all your generosity and for making such a difference.  We will now close this project as “funded” but we have a new Project on Global Giving for our SOS Project – helping women suffering from harassment and domestic abuse, as well as helping those in dire need of medical emergencies. You are more than welcome to support this project which desperately needs funding at present. For further news on the Boarding Home and Sheerni Projects, please visit our Facebook page on the Sambhali website


Boarding Home

The girls have been enjoying a lot of different activities over the last few months. The volunteers go for 3 hours every evening from 3.30-6.30pm after the girls return home from school. They have been using their Monday evenings during November practising for a local dance competition before the Diwali festival. Eight girls wore heavy robes, make-up and jewellery to take part in both the dancing and singing parts of the competition. They all had a lot of fun and encouraged their self-confidence to perform in public.

During their Story Days, they have been reading out loud in English various fairy tales; one girl will summarise it in Hindi and then they act it out by taking on different parts and making up a dialogue in English. They really enjoy these sessions particularly taking on the more active roles. The girls take it in turns to read it out loud which encourages all of them to participate and the volunteers ask questions and discuss the moral of the tale.

Wednesdays and Fridays are a Sports/yoga day, where the girls were given yoga sessions but mostly prefer the more active running sports given by the volunteers in the local park.

A variety of workshops are held on Thursday afternoons and now as the girls are getting older it has been suggested that the girls are divided into 2 groups…those 7-12 years  and those 13+. Workshops designed more for the older girls have included menstruation and pregnancy, where the girls were very attentive and interested.  They also did group workshops including creating a mandala..looking at self-image, various creative workshops and an “ocean of happiness” workshop.

There is a new tutor now in addition to Vimlesh, called Ranjan, who will help them with their homework, Hindi and Maths as well as developing some computer classes, as the girls are beginning to learn the theory at school, and now they need to practise. Sambhali has some laptops in the computer lab at the main Jodhpur Empowerment Centre, which they can use to practise on.  The girls had exams in December and their results are all very encouraging; all their grades being between 69%-99%, with one girl receiving 55%. They are all different ages so are at different levels, but they have all maintained a steady grade, apart from one girl, whom we need to focus on at present.

They have also been atttending to a lot of their minor health issues, looking at various dermatological problems the girls are suffering from. However the main news is that Pooja is to receive an operation to help her with a better walking pattern. Pooja who suffers from a spinal scoliosis causing her legs to be different legs was taken to see an orthopaedic surgeon to get some corrective shoes for her and a treatment plan has been devised to be able to lengthen her leg to equal the other one by gradually extending the bone over a period of time. Everything has been explained to Pooja’s parents who are happy for the operation to take place, we hope sometime in February. Additional fundraising has been done to enable this operation to happen.  

Educational trips are planned on a monthly basis to enable the girls to relate what they learn at school in the locality and to enable them to see more of what’s going in Jodhpur and inform their curiosity.


Sheerni Microcredit Project

The 108 women in the 10 groups are now consistently saving money each month to increase the capital from which they are able to receive loans. Some of the women couldn’t attend in the farming season in September and October, where they had to cut the crops before Diwali in November.

In October, 10000 rupees loan was given to a woman to provide stock for her shop. In December 4 women received loans of 7000 rupees and 3 x 10,000 rupees for stock for her shop, new shop, straw for cow’s food and to purchase 2 goats respectively.

This project has been running since 2009 and has changed over 100 women’s lives in the village of Setrawa, by enabling them to set up their own little businesses and provide an income for their families. Some of their children also attend the Empowerment Centre in Setrawa. With the support of the Manager, Mrs Mehta and the fieldworker, Meera Khatri, it is a integral part of Sambhali Trust and we are sure this project will run for many more years to come.

Henna designing
Henna designing
Creative workshop with the girls
Creative workshop with the girls
more rag-doll making ....
more rag-doll making ....
Paper craft workshop
Paper craft workshop
Celebrating Xmas time with the girls
Celebrating Xmas time with the girls
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