People First Educational Charitable Trust

People First aims to work closely with oppressed and disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals in breaking the centuries - old cycle of ignorance and oppression by providing opportunities for education. The trust believes the best way to achieve long - term positive social change is through education and we work in the areas of greatest need where no other education is available to the poor and oppressed. Our mission is the bringing of educational opportunity and to promote health and social rights to those to whom such opportunities have previously been denied due to poverty family circumstances or oppression. The Trust aims to work with the most marginalized me...
Feb 6, 2012

A National Shame for India

Neelam with baby boy found in Field
Neelam with baby boy found in Field

Dear Supporters,

Hello everyone and greetings to you all from Bihar, India.

For more information about the Baby Boy in our photo please visit our Facebook Page ( the link is below.)

If you are not aware of the Prime Ministers comments about the number of hungry children in todays India, I thought it would be interesting for you to see the following article from the Economic Times published recently.

NEW DELHI: India's Prime Minister called malnutrition in the country "a national shame" on Tuesday as he released a major survey that found 42 percent of children under five were underweight.
"The problem of malnutrition is a matter of national shame," Singh said at the launch of the HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Report, which surveyed 73,000 households across nine states.
"Despite impressive growth in our GDP, the level of under-nutrition in the country is unacceptably high. We have also not succeeded in reducing this rate fast enough," the 79-year-old prime minister added.

Singh said the findings of the report by an alliance of non-government organisations were both "worrying and encouraging" for India -- a fast-growing country of 1.2 billion people with the highest number of children worldwide.

The research found the proportion of under-fives who are underweight had declined 11 percentage points in seven years, but Singh said it remained "unacceptably high" at 42 percent.

"We cannot hope for a healthy future with a large number of malnourished children," he said.
India's economy has boomed in the last 20 years since a liberalisation wave began in 1991, with GDP growth rates of nearly 10 percent in the last decade helping to change perceptions of the country.

Foreign companies and India's powerful conglomerates have invested heavily, selling vast quantities of cars, luxury goods and Western lifestyle products to the growing middle classes.

It seems the wealth created in a country estimated to have 57 billionaires last year had not trickled down fast enough to the impoverished masses.
Measured by the prevalence of malnutrition, India is "doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa," she told AFP, echoing observations made by UN children's agency UNICEF.

This is despite the world's biggest government programme for early childhood development, called the Integrated Child Development Scheme, which is seen as riddled with corruption and inefficiency.

We see real hunger almost very day in our work in the villages of South Bihar.

I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that in the cold winter months a nourishing hot meal saved lives this year especially amongst young children.

Thanks to you we were able to provide over 250 hot meals a week, directly benefiting the very poor and underfed who needed this help the most.

Thank you for your support.

Neelam

Links:

Feb 6, 2012

"We deserve and are entitled to respect"

Homeless Girl at the Centre with New clothes
Homeless Girl at the Centre with New clothes

Note: The title of this report comes from a quote from a homeless girl attending our centre.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I just wanted to thank you for your response so far in helping us with our new SIGNAL project.

With our special trained counselors and facilities we are committed to changing the lives of street children forever, providing real opportunities for an alternative life as a respected member of civil society.  

The Girls need to know there are adults who really do care about them and have their best interests at heart, and that decent and right minded people do outweigh those who choose to exploit them.

They also need to understand that those individuals who seek to take advantage of their vulnerability as street children whom they presume to be unprotected, that - at least in our area of work, this is no longer the case; in fact they have their own lawyer. Our Child Protection and Legal Services officer attached to our centre is always available on a confidential basis for all the children whom attend our centre. Our aim is that the children no longer fear potential abusers, but that they should fear, as we will have no hesitation in taking action against them.

We hope with your support this ground breaking new initiative will be a great success, one thing you can be sure of is that we will keep you informed with regular updates and news as hopefully with your support the project grows and develops in the weeks and months to come .

With heartfelt appreciation,

Sunita

Links:

Feb 6, 2012

Reaching those in Need

Bihar Flood Village
Bihar Flood Village

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Bihar.

Thank you for your continuing support.

All over the world when the media spotlight moves away from natural disasters and 24 hour wall to wall TV coverage becomes zero coverage, the victims are left behind. It is depressing how all too often,( not always) the huge sums of money raised by compassionate donations seems to have little effect at the point of need. If you do not mind me saying Bill Gates and other big donors including  government aid is all well and good, but why it is not more thoughtful and better balanced?

We understand the Bill Gates foundation has given 90 million dollars over 4 years to the Bihar Government to improve health care provision in just a few districts. We welcome any help given to anybody, but we all know these large scale interventions rarely achieve the desired changes. More thoughtful locally based interventions working with people at the grass roots level with real cooperation and involvement with the actual communities in which they are based often achieve much better and more lasting results with far far less money. We are not saying one approach is by its self wrong, but it is flawed by its singular inflexible approach with policies often determined a very long away from the point of need.

GlobalGiving enables individuals with its carefully vetted and tracked projects to get funds to such grass roots organisations that have a very real positive effect directly on People’s Lives.  

We have been able, as previous project reports have pointed out been able to engage local people directly in making their homes safer, to provide replacement livestock or cheap loans to start small business, and given out relief materials directly to people in need of them.

We will leave these communities stronger and more equipped to deal with the threat of flooding than even before. With your hep we will be able to continue this important work.

We thank you for your kindness and the next report will include a personal story from just one family , typical of many that we have been able to assist due to your generosity.

With Thanks and Warm best Wishes,

 Deepak   

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