SOS Update September 2020
Apologies for the late update! Sambhali has been very involved during the height of the pandemic in feeding nearly 550 families in the rural desert area of Setrawa 100km west of Jodhpur. These families had no income after their jobs had been suspended during lockdown and they were mostly labourers in the quarries.
Sambhali’s projects have all been closed since the end of March, but over the last 2 months we have re-opened our main Office, re-structured our staff and implemented a staff computer training programme as well as arranging for staff to improve their English. On the Sewing side, we have been producing 5000 masks for the local authorities and are now starting to resume orders and work on a collection of new ideas ready for Xmas.
The pandemic whilst contained, has not subsided in India and in Jodhpur the numbers of incidences are still on the increase. Whilst the authorities are managing it by having different zones and a good contact and trace system, and continuing their progress after Lockdown ended at the end of May, this is governed by a series of Unlockdowns, which means an easing of restrictions, albeit whilst the numbers are increasing. However, schools and colleges have not resumed yet, whilst people returned to work back in June.
We have been able to continue operating an SOS service through our counsellors on the phone, but direct contact in many cases through transport issues and advice has needed to be solely given on the phone. We realise that the HelpLine is ever as important at this time, which is why we are grateful for your support.
Case Story 1
A woman called D from Jodhpur called, crying on the phone saying that her husband and father-in-law were ill-treating her and her husband has been beating her and not allowing her to return to her parents’ home. She explained that she found out that he had already been married to another woman and had children with her who were already 20 years old. She tried to deal with it in her own way and now just wanted to leave the house, but was unable to. Our counsellor then spoke to her father on the phone, who was also very upset and asked us for help and said that S had nearly been killed that morning and her condition is getting worse.
We called the police and together went to D’s house and as we arrived at the gate, she ran out of the house, shivering with fear and holding her new-born. She said she didn’t want to stay there. We went to the police station where the police called her father to come and pick her up and we handed her over to her father. Two days later the father rang to say that her condition is improving and she is now talking. We are thankful that S and her new baby are now living in the safe environment of her father’s house.
Case Story 2
We received a call from Agolai stating that a girl had been raped and murdered. The girl had been brought to her house and they were told that she had been suffering from stomach ache. The person on the phone said that all the women in the village think that she had not been treated right and asked if we knew what to do because she had already been buried. We told them to go to the police station and file a report on her, saying that they felt something had happened to her prior to being brought to the village and buried. So they went to the police station who ordered a post-mortem on the girl. So we are able to help with the start of justice being implemented on this poor girl and any further criminal investigations.