Sambhali Trust is a grassroots organisation working across multiple projects to empower underprivileged women and girls in Rajasthan, India. The SOS project provides a toll-free helpline, for women in need of medical and legal aid, advice and counselling. We assist with a range of cases, mainly those requiring support following domestic abuse and help with funding critical medical treatment. This project is in desperate need of funding to offer help to women who have no other means of support.
Indian society remains very patriarchal and conservative, and this often makes it difficult for women, especially those from lower castes, to talk about and seek help, especially in cases of domestic abuse. The pervasive view is that men are always the priority, and the question of 'abuse' is not considered. Additionally, many of the women that we help live in extreme poverty, and as such are unable to afford any of the legal costs incurred, nor able to pay their medical bills.
The purpose of the SOS helpline is not only to provide emergency advice and support, but also to subsequently work with callers to find a viable solution to their individual problems. In cases of abuse, these solutions range from mediation, to providing safe refuges in more extreme cases, and financial aid for legal fees. We also provide support to women battling complex, sometimes long-term health issues. Without this help, they would otherwise never be able to afford the treatment required.
The SOS helpline is a needs-based project, and we constantly have to adapt to the requirements of the individual women that seek out our help. Ultimately the goal of our project is to provide an ongoing source of advice and support to those who often have nowhere else to turn, in a safe and confidential environment.