Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India

by Karuna Trust
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Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India
Friends
Friends

Girls often receive abuse whilst either walking to or whilst studying at school, this frequently leads to them dropping out of school or low attendance at the very least.

Sai feared going to school, as on the journey there, she was harassed and teased by boys in a neighbouring community. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of stress and meant she had to face the unfair dilemma of whether to get an education or not.

Luckily, Sai had good friends, who wanted to support her, so they decided to alert the teacher what was taking place every morning. Unfortunately, their teacher wouldn’t listen and refused to take action, leaving them without help.

The girls were so determined, they took this issue and voiced it in one of our partner’s community groups. They've created a safe support network for young girls to voice their feelings and express any difficulties. With the kind listening ear of one of the group leaders, they decided to collectively support their friend Sai and together they would approach the group of boys and ask for them to stop. This is no easy task! But together they had the courage to do so.

The next day on their way to school, they approached the boys, as they have learnt about their rights from the community groups, they said if it carried on, they would go to the police. The boys hearing this, promised to never again call Sai names and since then they have left her alone for good!

Inspired by this powerful example of what friendship and community support can do, Sai and her friends had regained their confidence. They wanted to make sure no other girl went through this. So, with the help of our partners, local leaders met with the girls and heard their story. Impressed by the example and saddened to hear this regularly happens to so many girls, local leaders offered their services and attitudes transformed in that meeting.

Thanks to increased awareness of their rights, girls can collectively come together and make change, this is where your generous support is going to. Thank you!

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Helping girls to access education
Helping girls to access education

 

Can you imagine having to make the decision between school or caring for your younger siblings?

 Many young girls face this every day in India, including Nitara.

Nitara, 12 years old, lives in extremely poor conditions, in a metal sheet house in Pune. Both her parents are daily wage workers, labouring hard, long, hours to earn an insubstantial income for their family. This puts Nitara in a position of responsibility to look after her two younger siblings and the running of the house. Nitara felt overburdened by these many responsibilities, especially for her age.

Nitara couldn’t attend school, and was missing crucial education, but it seemed that nothing could be done.

Our partners’ social worker noticed that Nitara wasn’t attending local meetings and chased up her school, to see that she failed to make it there too. They decided to visit her at home to access the situation. Soon after, they met with Nitara, who was isolated and overstretched. Nitara expressed her wish to return to school and continue her studies, so our partners in Pune's team sprung into action, to help achieve her goal.

After meeting with Nitara's parents and discussing the importance of her education and wellbeing, they assisted with her younger siblings’ admission into a nursery, to help with childcare.

Nitara would now be free to continue her studies and pursue being a police officer! We got reports from her teachers saying that she is excelling, has successfully completed all assignments and is improving her grades by the day.

There are still countless young girls who are facing difficulties accessing education. With your support, our partners can continue their valuable work in helping girls achieve their dreams.

Thank you.

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Too often, the poorest families in India are forced to choose between educating their daughters or supporting their families.

Sadly, Chaaya’s family were faced with this very choice. During the pandemic, while schools were closed, Chaaya had helped her mother, Daksha, in her day job as a domestic helper. The extra support and income during such a troubling time was a blessing for their family of nine. So much so that, once schools reopened, Daksha could simply not afford to let Chaaya, 14, return to school.

‘My mother had said we could get more work and more money if I stayed,’ Chaaya recalls.

Her mother questioned the need for her education. ‘She asked me, “What will happen if you study more? Nothing will change.”’

Chaaya was devastated, even though she knew how much her family struggled to survive.

Fortunately, one of Green Tara Foundation’s (GTF) community support workers was active in the area and she was able to contact Chaaya. The meeting left her with a renewed confidence, and she was offered educational materials and notebooks to ease the burden on her family’s finances.

The community support worker visited Chaaya’s home and met with Daksha. She was able to inform them about the benefits of Chaaya’s education, not just for Chaaya, but for the family and community as well. During their talks, Daksha was also able to learn about her rights and schemes that could support her financially.

Now, with her mother’s support, Chaaya is back at school, where she belongs. And she wants to complete her education and help other girls who are like her.

‘I feel like GTF is doing important work for girls in need, like me,’ Chaaya says. ‘It is only because of them that we can finish our education.’

Your support gives girls just like Chaaya the tools they need to stay in education and out of child labour. Thank you.

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Mangesh and his daughter
Mangesh and his daughter

Despite the horrific reality of child marriage, its causes are not a mystery. Social and cultural pressure, combined with extreme financial insecurity, is more than enough to persuade many families living in extreme poverty to do the unthinkable and marry off their underage daughters into a life of potential abuse and household slavery.

Mangesh knows these pressures well. Illiterate and with a family of 6, including 3 daughters, too often he was unable to find work as a blacksmith in Maharashtra. Struggling even to feed his daughters, it wasn’t long before his own relatives began encouraging them to marry them off to alleviate the financial strain, despite them barely being teenagers.

His daughters, of course, had other ambitions – they wanted to stay in school. But with barely enough to put food on the table, the cost of education for his daughters was impossible.

Fortunately, one of our partners was conducting a free workshop that Mangesh’s wife attended. While there, she learnt about the illegality of child marriage and the importance of girls’ education. When she returned home she persuaded Mangesh to attend one of these workshops himself.

He was glad he did. He was able to meet community representatives who gave him advice on how to handle his finances and communicated the importance of educating his daughters.

The knowledge he received over multiple discussions transformed his thinking. Now, he champions his daughter’s education and autonomy over their own life choices. He even spreads the word to other men in the community, too.

“I decided to give her a good education that would help her get a good job in the future. Now her future will definitely be bright,” Mangesh says.

Your donations mean that fathers just like Mangesh can get the support they need to transform their thinking; becoming the biggest champions of their daughters’ education, instead of the greatest obstacles to it. Thank you.

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Slums in Pune
Slums in Pune

Living in a slum in Pune, Manasi, 44, lives hand to mouth. Her husband passed away 6 years ago.  Manasi was then alone in the care for her severely disabled adult daughter. Here, she shares the difficulties she has faced due to the coronavirus pandemic and the huge difference your support has made: 

I was working in a restaurant as a cleaning lady before Covid-19 pandemic started. When the pandemic started, the Government shut down all the restaurants. I lost my job so income stopped completely. I was so shocked. I had no money saved with me and had so many big worries.

My daughter can’t walk or talk. After my husband died, I need to be at home at least half a day so I can work only part time. Hence I received only half day’s payment. Because of this, I had no savings at all.  

Somehow we were surviving. Some days were worse than others. There were two days when we ate only bread and tea. I heard about a project that was distributing grocery kits,so my neighbour gave me their number. I called from my neighbour’s phone and asked for help for food. The next day, a social worker from the project came and gave us a grocery package that would last us at least for two months. That night, I ate until I was full. 

Around that time, I fell down and broken my hand.  I needed an operation on my hand but I could not afford it. I had no money. But there were also questions like, who will look after my daughter? I did not have any relatives in the city. Again, this project helped me with this. They provided me with more groceries and with assistance so I could go to the hospital and get treatment. 

When I received this help, it gave me confidence that there are positive actions and people in the world.”

Thank you for helping Manasi and others in her community that are facing such dire challenges at this time. Your support is really valued.

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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @karuna_trust_uk
Project Leader:
keval shah
London, UK United Kingdom
$154,850 raised of $200,000 goal
 
820 donations
$45,150 to go
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