Asha´s story (Girl in Mann Deshi Cattle Camp)
One day I was wandering in our Mann Deshi Cattle Camp and saw a little girl with glasses caring for some animals. It was working all alone, cutting sugarcane to feed the cattle, cleaning cow dung away and giving water to the animals. I started wondering: “Why is she doing everything alone? She looks so fragile with her big glasses, so weak”.
I stopped there and started to ask her all questions that came in my mind. I was curious about her situation and wanted to know more.
She told me that her name is Asha. Eleven years old Asha lives in Bonewadi, a small town with her mother, two sisters, and one brother. One sister is married already and the other sister is going to marry tomorrow (28.06.2012). Because of this marriage, the mother is busy and Asha is left alone to care for the cattle. Her Father died some years ago already due to an illness. Asha is still in school, she attends 6 standards in a local village school in Diwad, 3km away from Bonewadi. She dreams of becoming a doctor after she finished her education.
Every day she has to walk the 3 km to school. After school, she has to feed the cattle and give them water in the Mann Deshi Cattle Camp, 7km away from where she lives. Sometimes one of her cousins drives her, sometimes she can pay a rikshaw but if she has no spare money she has to walk the 7km home. Then at home she has to help her mother in the household. This is her daily routine; every day she goes to school first, then cares for the cattle and then works at home. She starts her day at 7am, works during the day and studies until 10pm in the night.
She wants to become a doctor but how can she do it? How will she have the money to go to university? She does not even have proper time for learning. Why does she have so many problems, why is her live so difficult?
Asha is born in a farmer’s family that own 11 acres of land. Normally from this land they could earn enough money to make a living, but because it did not rain last year and the drought is not new to Mann Taluka, the harvest failed and the family got no income. Her mother works as a wage laborer in Vasai, Thane, and now to earn at least some money for the family. Because both of her sisters are married (or will be tomorrow), young Asha is the only one left to take care of the cattle, the most valuable assets they have left. Asha´s glasses have a power of 8, leaving hear almost blind without them. Having this handicap makes it even harder for her to do all her tasks during the day. Her both sisters married very young; Asha does not like this. She wants to finish her education, become a doctor and only afterwards start a family.
It is a beautiful dream of such a determined young girl.
Looking at her I think:” will it be ever possible for her to become this doctor?”
Mann Deshi Foundation helped Asha by donating bicycle, so that at least she can continue her higher education. We cannot do everything, but can do something with the help of our partners.
Please click below the links of Mann Deshi Cattle Camp:
Balabai is an 11 years old girl. She is one of the children who acquired a bicycle from Mann Deshi. She, and the 10 members of her family, is living all together in a house around Masalwadi village. Balabai has 7 sisters. Unfortunately, her mother died a few years ago so her and her 7 sisters are living with their father who has to take care of them alone. Her father is a goat and sheep breeder; he also works in the field.
Balabai is in the 5 standard and she passed her last year with a second grade. Her house is at 4 km distance from school and before having a bicycle she had to walk the all way every day as there is no bus facility in her village. Now that she has a bicycle, she is saving a lot of time every day and she is using this free time to go to study for school and to do some housework. Balabai’s father wants her to pursue a higher education even though, they are very poor and he doesn’t know if he will be able to afford a higher education. All the money he earns is used to buy the necessary food for the family.
Balabai has 2 younger sisters who also go to school by bicycle with her. The bicycle is in fact useful for the three girls. Before hearing about the bicycle program, her family had no relation with the Mann Deshi Foundation and today when her friends are telling her that they also want a bicycle, she just answer: “yes, you will also go to Mann Deshi!”.
Nakusa Shivaji Masal : Zilha Parishad Primary School, Masalwadi :
Nakusa Shivaji Masal is a pupil in the school of Masalwadi, a small village close to Mhaswad. She is one of the children who had the chance to receive a bicycle from the Mann Deshi Foundation. Nakusa is twelve years old; she lives with her family and its seven members under a tent around the village since they are a very poor family. Nakusa is currently in her 7 standard. She passed with first class in the last year. She says that one of her special skills is to run. During the last years, she took part in a local competition and she succeed to arrive second at the 800 meter running and third at 900 meter running at a Taluka level. Beside the competition, she also likes to study for school.
Both her father, Shivaji Masal, and her mother, Nagabai Masal, are working in a brick factory far from the village. They are daily wage earner. Every day they are earning just enough money to buy the necessary food for their children. They have absolutely no security in case of problems like health issues for example.
Once, the Mobile Business School (another project conducted by Mann Deshi) came in her village. The staff from Mann Deshi was introducing the different projects conducted by Mann Deshi at that time, and they talked about the Bicycle Program. While Nakusa was listening to the staff presentation, she was wondering about how great it would be to have a bicycle to go to school and if she could be one of those little girl to receive a bicycle from Mann Deshi. Right after the presentation, she run to her school teacher and told her what her idea was. So, her teacher went to the Mann Deshi and told her about Nakusa request...and this is how Nakusa got her bicycle. As her mother takes part in a self-help-group in her village, she was already familiar with the Mann Deshi bank and foundation and therefore supported Nasuka in her request. Since then, she is enjoying her bicycle which changed her everyday life.
Nakusa lives at 3 km distance from school. As there are no transports facilities from where she lives to the school, she wouldn’t be able to arrive to school on time every day without her bicycle. She is the first child in her family to have a bicycle and she already inspired her smaller brother and sister. Her sister, who is now in the 4 standard, also comes to the school with Nakusa.
Nasuka says that, with her bicycle, she is able to save a lot of time that she can devote to other activities such as studying for school. When she got her bicycle, her friends asked her: “How have you done to get a bicycle?”. So Nakusa explain them about Mann Deshi and how she did to ask for her bicycle.
Mann Deshi hopes that a Nakusa story will encourage other children to acquire bicycle in order to go to school and accomplish their education. Nakusa’s parents are willing to help her to pursue a higher education.
Dear Mann Deshi Donors and Supporters,
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
“Give a girl bike, Change her Life”: Mann Deshi has given bicycle to more than 2400 girls. Bike gives these girls an opportunity to carry on their advanced education.
“B-School at women’s doorstep”: Mann Deshi with B-school together has been able to reach +40,000 women and have provided them capital and business training. 60% of women have been able to start and expand their business successfully.
This would not have been possible without our supporters and partners. And as we come to the end of another successful year, we want to thank those who have contributed to Mann Deshi’s success.
The Mann Deshi aims to provide underprivileged rural women with the resources they need to improve their lives. Mann Deshi works holistically to improve slummy women’s lives through a variety of financial services, business trainings and skills.
Thus, we hope that you remember Mann Deshi when you think about buying gifts this holiday season. Any donations you make will have a direct impact on the disadvantaged rural women and girls we serve, allowing them to improve their lives: your donation would truly be a gift that kept on giving.
Mann Deshi currently has three projects linked with Global Giving, a US and UK based organization that connects people with the countries and causes they are passionate about. Global Giving is registered under 501c3 so that US donors receive tam exemptions. For this donation Mann Deshi Foundation is registered under 80G and also has tax exemption. Your tax-deductible donation will be wired directly to Mann Deshi Foundation from Global Giving. The projects you can contribute to are:
1. The Freedom Ride Bicycle Program for Girls provides bicycles to girls in remote locations so that they can travel to school, and therefore complete their education
2. Mann Deshi Udyogini (B-school for rural women in india) brings life skills and financial training to poor rural wage laborers, empowering them to become successful businesswomen.
3. Mann Deshi Champions (Sports Program) Mann Deshi's Champions Sports Program provides sport training to poor rural children, providing the opportunity to broaden their skills both physically and socially.
To make an anonymous donation, a donation on behalf of another person, or to donate as a gift in a friend's name, please visit www.globalgiving.com and search "Mann Deshi Foundation", or go directly to Mann Deshi's link:
With many thanks and warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas holiday season and New Year.
Dear Mann Deshi Donors and Supporters,
Mann Deshi is very much thankful for your continued support to Bicycle program.
Madhuri is the oldest sister within her eight member’s family. She applied to the program after Mann Deshi Foundation informed the school she is attending that the foundation would have provided bicycles to girls who found it hard to go to school. She says, “her life has improved for the better: being able to get to school faster avoids any time wasting and gives her the chance to concentrate even more on her studies.” Her grades have improved considerably since she entered the program and, although she is just in the 7th grade, she has already started to think about her future, considering the option of enrolling into university and pursuing an engineering degree. Her family is very satisfied too. Without Mann Deshi’s donation they would not have been able to provide such means to Madhuri. She used to spend two hours walking from home to school and then back again. Her father, who is a farmer and occasionally works in constructions, thinks that the program has had a positive effect on his daughter and that in general it is a good program. Her mother, a housewife, while worried for the safety of Madhuri and requiring her to cycle safely, views positively the fact that her daughter spends less time in going to school and can finally use this time to focus on the studies. The two younger sisters of Madhuri, although they are too young for a bicycle now, are considering the idea of applying to Mann Deshi’s program in the future: at this point in time they still walk every morning from home to school, and every evening they walk all the way back.
Mann Deshi greatly appreciates its donors support.
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