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
Kajal
Kajal

This year we began working in 3 new slums. Kajal comes from one of these.

Most people in this slum come from the Mang or Matang community who were traditionally regarded as 'untouchable', 'ritually impure' and unable to do dignified work. That has changed somewhat these days and the men of the community are engaged in different professions, using the money that they earn to slowly convert the haphazard slum housing into 'pukka' houses. The situation has changed little for the women however, who still remain trapped in a cycle of illiteracy, early marriage, and domestic servitude with their in-laws.

'I was just trapped in my house', says Kajal. 'My mother and two older brothers thought that was the best thing, so I dropped out of school and stayed in the house. I would do the housework, and then just sit around bored all day. I didn't know anything else.

Then, staff from the Green Tara Foundation came. They explained about the girls groups, and the importance of educating girls to my mother, and she let me attend the group. I've been there ever since!'

Kajal is 17, in 10th standard, and naturally bright, and though the girls groups have no official leaders, she speaks confidently about the problems they face, and encourages other girls to speak up too. She comes across as a natural leader. 

'We want to stop child marriage here. That's our aim. And I want to go to college, and for other girls to be able to go to college too. They shouldn't have to drop out like I had to. 

Now I live my life with freedom. Thank you!'

Thank you for helping girls like Kajal. We couldn't do it without your support.

Girls Group
Girls Group
View from the slums
View from the slums
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Green Tara Foundation began another project cycle in July, working closely with the programme manager to plan activities for the next year. The i

The project continues to offer education and livelihoods training to adolescent girls in 8 slums across Pune.  The girls, with some struggle, are able to convince their parents to let them attened these trainings. After building some trust with the girls in these areas, the project staff are able to begin talking about the difficult topics of gender equality and the treatment of girls.

Here are some photos from the most recent gender awareness training. 

This year we have also decided to start running gender awareness training for the boys, and look forward to sharing those stories with you as well.

Thank you so much for continuing to support our work. 

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Megha
Megha

Megha's life is typical of girls' in the slums we work in. At the age of 14, she knew nothing about puberty, menstruation, or how to look after her health as her body went through changes. Because of taboos and superstition, these things are not commonly discussed and there is a lot of misinformation. Girls can be confused and made to feel ashamed about being girls. Indeed, when Megha asked why this happens to girls and not boys, no-one in her family or slum could give her a satisfactory answer.

Her father passed away when she was young and her mother single handedly works to support both her and her sister. They live in the incredibly congested slum of Bhimnagar, Pune, and a house made of leftover waste materials and corrugated iron. Because she has two daughters and no son, her mother is particularly worried about the future financial situation of the family. 

Megha, however, was incredibly shy. Barely speaking, due to lack of confidence, she could barely contribute at school. When puberty hit, this exacerbated everything and Megha was ready to retreat to their home forever. 

Thankfully, she found her way to Green Tara Foundation's activities raising awareness on issues of hygiene and health amongst adolescent girls in the slums. She was able to ask many questions about her body, her physiology, and the differences between men and women. Through this she learnt that it was possible for her to achieve much more than she thought - she was not lesser and unclean just because she was female!

Megha has a new confidence in life now. She is active and more confident and is working at her studies with the hope of becoming a police officer one day. 

We have learnt time and time again how important awareness of puberty, menstruation and reproductive health is for these slum girls, who otherwise have no idea what's happening to them and why. It answers the questions they have, and exposes them to a different view of the role of women in society. 

Thank you so much for helping to fund this life changing work!

Megha with other girls
Megha with other girls
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Before School Club
Before School Club

Thanks to your generosity, we are getting closer to reaching our fundraising target so that we can help more girls and young women from Vishrantwadi, Pune transform their lives through education.

We plan to help 1,000 girls like Priti to benefit from educational support classes. These classes provide vital small-group and individual tuition to girls who cannot get the support they need in overcrowded school classrooms. Our Support Classes give them 3 hours of dedicated support a day, and our girls are making fantastic progress compared to when they started.

The girls can also learn about their rights, have the confidence to delay early marriage and stand up against sexual harassment.

On International Women's Day, we will be running a variety of activities across our projects to raise further awareness of women's and girls' rights.

We wanted to let you know that our project is taking part in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund which gives us the opportunity to secure additional matched funding for the year, based on the number of donors. In addition, on International Women's Day (Wednesday 8th March),donations will be matched at 30%, up to $250 per donor, until funds run out.

Find out more about the The Girl Fund: https://goto.gg/3942 

Taking part
Taking part
More school club
More school club
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Danashree, 13, lives in the area of Ramgarh Kalas.  Prioir to meeting the project team she was anaemic and very unhealthy. She would often be sick and wouldn’t have the energy to leave home. She became very isolated.  

Despite knowing she needed to put on weight and eat more, Danashree didn’t know how to cook. She understood very little about good nutrition, what to eat or how to cook healthy meals.

Danashree enrolled in the projects healthy cooking classes. The classes taught her all about getting the essential nutrients like iron, B vitamins and protein from the food they were eating. She learned how to cook simple and affordable recipes using nutrient dense foods.

Now Danashree is helping to cook cook for her family at home and they are benefiting from the skills she picked up from the project.  She also tells her friends about what she learned, so they are learning about good nutrition as well.

Danashree’s health has improved drastically. She is now able to go to school regularly, instead of being kept at home by weakness and frequent illness. She has changed her habits to eat less junk food and unhealthy snacks, and is instead eating healthy, protein-rich foods. Her whole family has benefited from her new knowledge, as she has shown them that healthy food can be delicious, and can be made cheaply at home.

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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
$155,286 raised of $200,000 goal
 
831 donations
$44,714 to go
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