Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India

by Karuna Trust
Play Video
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
Shakti in her house
Shakti in her house

Our girls' stories can often be similar, but it doesn't make them any less heartbreaking. 

I met Shakti in one of the new slums where we're working late last year. She's in 10th standard (which would make her about 16 years old). Her mother died some years ago, and since then she has had full responsiblity for running the whole household, which consists of her father and three elder brothers.

She told me that she had to wake up early (before 5am) and prepare the food for the lunches of her father and three brothers before they go to work. She used to try to go to school, but then one of her brothers forbade her from doing so, which gave her more time to focus on the other chores in the house. 

Then one of our social workers came to the house, and told her she ought to go to school. 'But father said no' she said.

At this point in the story she started crying. She tried to hide her face, but was crying for some time while the other project workers comforted her. 

Our social workers convinced Shakti's father and brothers to let her go to school, and she's been back at school now for over six months. 

'I really like it' she says.

It's not easy. She still has to do all the housework. She now wakes up at 5.30. She still has to make food for everyone.

'But things are getting better. One of my brothers helps me with the housework now.

I believe in myself now. I want to keep studying after 10th. I have friends now. I hope we can all keep studying together'.

 

Thank you all for helping girls like Shakti stay in school, giving them a real chance of escaping lives of domestic servitude in the slums. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Shakshi at home
Shakshi at home

Shakshi was introduced to me as a girl who loved to dance. She beamed a big smile and began to tell me about school.

"When I used to go to school, I didn't have any friends. The school had really good facilities. Girls from the local hostel used to go there.

Then I made friends with this girl [from the group]. I used to not even have a pen to write, but she used to let me use hers. And then I made some other friends. 

But a lot of girls still used to mock me. They would call me 'baldy'. Sometimes the teacher would hear them and make them say sorry."

Shakshi comes from a difficult family situation. Her mother suffered from mental illness and left the home with her little brother and sister to look for a job in a richer part of the city. Her father is an alcoholic and used to beat her mother. He is currently unemployed. After Shakshi's mother left, her father pulled her out of the school. 

It was some of the girls of one of our groups that joined together and turned up at Shakshi's fathers house to ask why she hadn't been seen at school for months. They insisted that she should go, and her father let her again, as long as they accompanied her to school and back.

"I love school a lot so I'm so grateful to the Green Tara Foundation" she says. 

She attends daily tuition classes with the group, as well as extra-curricular activities they run, which gives her the opportunity to do things such as dance with the other girls.

Shakshi's life is still hard, but thanks to your support she is back and school, and has a group of friends and a place to dance. All of this makes her life very different to how it would otherwise have been.

Thank you for your donations.

Sakshi stands up and tells her story
Sakshi stands up and tells her story
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Girls groups
Girls groups

This year we have started in some new communities. One such community is a slum of a poor Sikh tribe. Here. according to the elders and their traditions, none of the girls are allowed to study past 8th standard (14 years) when they would normally be married.

We have two main activities in this slum. The first are daily study support classes for the girls so they can actually keep up with what's being caught in their often overcrowded classes. The second is a regular meeting of the girls groups, where the girls learn about their right to education, their situation as young women in India, their constitutional rights, discrimination, violence, and many other things that they would not otherwise be able to have frank conversations about. 

The girls groups help to give the girls confidence, so they can aim for much more than they previously imagined. 

Here we asked, 'who's going to study until 12th standard?' (the equivalent of college or sixth form). All the hands shot up. This wouldn't have been imaginable three months ago. 

But it's going to be a long road ahead. Counselling the parents, working with the teachers, empowering the girls to stand up for themselves, and each other. We've seen from the other slums where we've worked that it's not easy. But it's possible.

I look forward to continuing to update you on our girls. Thank you so much for continuing to help us. 

'Who's going to study until 12th standard?'
'Who's going to study until 12th standard?'
Girls in their meeting room
Girls in their meeting room
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Kajal outside her house
Kajal outside her house

This month we have Kajal talking about her own experience of the project over the last couple of years. Thank you as always for continuing to support our girls. It means a lot to us, and to them.

"I am Kajal. I have migrated from Madhya Pradesh. I stay in Rajiv Gandhi nagar Pune. My father went to school only for eight years. I have an older brother. My father is working for a tailor. My mother works as a domestic help. When I was in 6th class, I couldn’t read and write. I was not bothered by this fact as I was engaged in our house work, like washing utensils. I was behind in study in class. My brother was not helping me in study. When I entered 8th standard, I was still in same place about reading and writing. In our school, there are no exams up to 8th standard, nobody including teachers, bothered about me not reading and writing in 8th standard.

I started study with (Green Tara Foundation) GTF in August 2017 .One day, when I realized I can’t read in class, I felt very ashamed about me not trying to develop myself. Some friends of mine use to go to GTF for study help, I started to go there and in three months, I started to understand and read and write. I could read and write now. In class, I was feeling can I cope up with this? But GTF class helped me by keeping a personal attention on my study.

I overcame on my own wrong perspectives about myself. I overcome on my low confidence and low self-esteem. When I learned to read and write it developed my interest in studies and I started to enjoy studying, reading and writing. If I had not got the opportunity to attend GTF class, I never would have passed of 10th standard, maybe I never would get higher education, too. I passed this board exam which would have been very difficult for me. I passed it because of GTF.

My parents are happy about my progress. I am feeling secured about my future. I will complete my higher education and earn money for me and my family.

Thank you for giving opportunity to share my thoughts."

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Bhagyashali, 17, is from the Vishrantwadi slum area in Pune. She is one of 6 sisters. One of Bhagyashali’s older sisters ran away from the family home as she wanted to get married to a boy from a different caste and her parents did not approve. After her sister ran away Bhagyashali’s father became very mistrustful and stopped allowing her or her sisters to go out of the house. The community also isolated the family and stopped inviting them to functions. Bhagyashali’s father insisted she drop out of school.

When the project social worker visited the household, Bhagyashali explained what had happened. She was very upset and wanted to continue her education. The project visited the local school and spoke with the headmaster about the situation. The team also spoke with Bhagyashali’s father. They were able to convince the school to re-enrol Bhagyashali in the midterm and convinced her father to let her return to school again.

Though being out of school for two years Bhagyashali is doing well and catching up with her studies. She is performing at the top of her class. Regarding her situation, she said “my dream of going again, after two year gap, in school is fulfilled”. Many thanks to all the projects supporters who support young girls like Bhaghyashali.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

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
$155,286 raised of $200,000 goal
 
831 donations
$44,714 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Karuna Trust has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.