We are pleased and excited by the amount of progress made to the facility, which is beginning to look more and more like a complete structure each day. Much of the floors and casting are complete and electrical and plumbing elements are in the progress of being installed. According to General Bhopinder Singh, President of Maitri, “We are very hopeful that by the 4th finish the kitchen, as well as begin the implementation of the nutrition programme.” Here are some of the changes since the last report:
• Roof of the ground floor and first floor has been cast. Second floor roofing in progress.
• Earth filling completed along with retaining walls.
• Piling, pile capping and foundation beams have been cast.
• Brick work and plastering of ground floor is complete.
• Floor tiling of ground floor is in progress.
• Brick work of first floor is complete, and plastering is in progress.
• Window frames of ground and first floors have been set in the walls.
• Bathroom fitting and plumbing is in progress.
• Sewage lines have been laid and connected to the main sewage system.
• Electrical wiring of ground floor is in progress.
• Boundary gate has been erected and boundary wall is under construction.
• Kitchen tiling has commenced, and the slab casting for the cooking counter, sink and washing area have been completed.
• Tubewell installation is complete.
• Maitri and REC sign boards have been affixed at prominent places.
Several impoverished women have already approached Maitri Ghar coordinators asking to be placed on the facility’s waiting list. The projected number of women this facility can house is just over one hundred, and it will serve as a residential facility with the aim of improving the quality of life for these women, as well as help restore a sense of dignity and respect. Some of the enrichment programs will include opportunities for independent income generation as well as the creation of liaisons with state government in order to receive essential identification cards. Maitri already implements many of these programs at its current facility and hopes that the new facility will have an even broader reach; assisting even more women and touching even more lives.
One life touched by Maitri’s work in Vrindavan is Kalli Kunda. Kalli got married at the young age of 14. Her husband used to work at a shop that made brass utensils and used to drink heavily. They had three sons and one daughter. Since their family was extremely poor, her sons worked as labourers in a hotel to somehow make ends meet. About 17 years ago, her husband passed away. After his death, Kalli's sons did not even give her food to eat, and sometimes she had to beg from her neighbours to feed herself and survive. With nobody willing to support her or take care of her, she came to Radhakund and has been here for about 12 years. Life in Radhakund is also very difficult, and Kalli barely survives by begging on the streets. "Thanks to Maitri, at least I get one square meal every day and do not have to go hungry,” she says.
Maitri currently provides a mid-day meal as well as basic healthcare and other support programs to over 500 widows in shelter homes, and hopes to scale up care and support to 2,500 widows by 2015. This facility can help Maitri realize this goal and help more women in an unfortunate and difficult situation.
We at Maitri would like to thank all of our supporters for their generous contributions, and for helping us to further our efforts to restore dignity and respect to the destitute women of Vrindavan. We are grateful for the over $16,000 USD we have received, and appreciate Global Giving and their continued support in our future endeavours.
One of the dorms