Support Abused Women in India

by Seva Mandir
Support Abused Women in India


Dear Friend,

I hope this update finds you and your loved ones in good health.

Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our families, our businesses, our communities, and our way of life. The Covid-19 pandemic is a two-pronged health and economic crisis, and requires a two-pronged response.

India has crossed the sobering statistic of one lakh deaths caused by the novel coronavirus and the ongoing pandemic.

From the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in India, Seva Mandir began relief efforts to support families who were most in need in Udaipur and Rajsamand districts. 

We provided more than 50,000 relief kits (for food, sanitation, storing grain, sanitary pads, and personal protection) along with supporting the regional government to distribute an additional 38,000 relief kits. Our awareness campaign was able to spread correct information and advice related to the pandemic, reaching more than 160,000 people. 

The distribution of relief kits and awareness materials helped families through the initial stages of the crisis. The rapid support provided by individuals, institutions, foundations and corporates was instrumental to the success of our relief efforts. 

In our last report, we shared with you the steps which Seva Mandir had taken for the safety and security of the people living in its rural areas. But now the scenario has completely changed, people now are aware about Covid-19 and they also know the ways to keep themselves safe and protected from this virus.

As the initial brunt of the crisis is over and the lockdown is slowly lifted, Seva Mandir’s focus is now on developing and implementing long-term relief for communities and individuals through livelihood interventions.

The economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown are now becoming clear. Migrant labourers have returned back to their villages and are now out of work and putting extra pressure on the meagre resources of their households.

Incidences and reports of violence against women within the household have also risen. This points to male psychological distress due to short-term loss of work and earnings, and subsequent violent behaviour and/or confinement at home with abusive partners during lockdown.

To mitigate the economic effects of Covid-19, Seva Mandir is rapidly expanding its comprehensive livelihood support to ensure families and communities have the tools, knowledge and ability to continue to improve their lives.

Seva Mandir is building the capacity of individuals, families and communities to adapt to the new normal and continue in leading their own development.

We are deeply grateful for your overwhelming support and messages of encouragement.

We are committed to continuing to serve the communities we work with, and we know you will be too. The world will come out stronger after we beat the coronavirus.

Thank you, and sending our best wishes for yours and your family and friends safety.


Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir team

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We hope that you, your family and loved ones are safe and in good health.

Covid-19 has spread widely across India and the wide-ranging consequences of the pandemic and the lockdown have started to emerge. Our working area of Udaipur and Rajsamand districts have seen a rise in the positive cases and are now amongst the most severely affected regions in Rajasthan.
During this period, we have increased our relief efforts to support families living in villages and urban slums of Udaipur and Rajsamand districts. Until now, we have provided more than 41,000 relief kits for sanitation, food, storing grain and personal protection. Our comprehensive awareness campaign on Covid-19 has focused on the symptoms of Covid-19, how to protect those most at risk, quarantine methods, and more. Additionally, we are also coordinating with the government to support their own relief efforts. Until now, over INR 6 million (approx. USD 80,000) has been spent in providing relief. We are regularly sharing updates of our relief efforts on our dedicated Covid-19 page on our website which you can find here.

During the lockdown, the staff in the Shelter Home have been working unabated, ensuring the all the women and children currently residing there have all the support and supplies that they need. Our team have been giving motivational talks and sessions every day, along with regular yoga and meditation classes to help the women and children’s mental and physical health stay strong. 

Some of the women in the Shelter Home were working in the city in various jobs, helping them to earn a small income. However, due to the lockdown these businesses had to close, leaving the women without any work. In response, these women began helping with Seva Mandir’s relief efforts, packing the food and sanitation kits that would be sent to families most in need.

Just before the lockdown began, the Shelter Home received a call from the police; a woman was in distress and needed immediate shelter. When she arrived at the Shelter Home, the staff were informed that she had travelled by train all the way from Lucknow, a city in Uttar Pradesh, more than 1,200 km from Udaipur. She told staff that she has depression and a couple of days ago, she found herself jumping on the first train she could find at Lucknow’s train station.

At her request, she was put in touch with her family in Uttar Pradesh. Her husband and children were over the moon to know that she was safe. They were extremely worried about her and had no idea where she had gone. They wanted her to return immediately, but unfortunately, no travelling was allowed due to the lockdown. Her family were assured that she was in safe hands and regular contact is being maintained.

We are deeply grateful for your support of the Shelter Home. Thanks to you, we are able to provide women from all backgrounds with a safe space to live.

Once again, thank you for your unwavering support of Seva Mandir. Please stay healthy and safe.


Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Packing relief kits
Packing relief kits
Maintaining social distancing
Maintaining social distancing
A member of our distribution team
A member of our distribution team


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Dear Friend,

With your precious support last year we provided support to 109 women and 2 men through shelter and counselling. Shelter was provided to 94 women along with their 75 children. Thank you so much for all your help and support.  

Rashmi (name changed) is from a rural area close to Udaipur city in southern Rajasthan. In 2003 she got married and after some time two beautiful children enriched and completed her family. Around eight years after marriage, problems started, as her husband started drinking and beating her regularly. Rashmi endured domestic assault for several months.

In 2013 Rashmi arrived for the first time at Seva Mandir's Short Stay Home. Since then, she has resided in there three times, during which she was given full assistance, she was counselled and joint meetings with her husband were held to help the couple to get over the difficulties. The husband tried to take her back for several times, but his promises of not beating her and not drinking anymore failed as the violence took place again.

She came back for the fourth time in 2015, and she has been living there for almost a year. During her last staying she had also found a job in a nearby Mall. Rashmi has been supported and counselled, legally adviced and guided, in order to help her making the best decision and start a new life. Many efforts have been taken to deal with the plight and Seva Mandir helped her during her staying to find a job and to become financially and emotionally independent.

This is just one of the stories of cruelty and abuse affecting women living at the Short Stay Home. Many of them have happily gone back home, re-establishing old bonds with their husbands. However, as Rashmi's case shows, the reality is more often difficult to face, especially when violence becomes endemic and it's fuelled by social diseases such as alcoholism.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

With warm wishes,

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

Meena (name changed) could find her family back after 3 long months of being separated from them.

The story goes back to 2018 when a woman with a young girl was found by paralegal volunteers (from District Legal Services Authority) in very poor conditions. They brought her to our shelter home to provide her safety. Upon investigation, it was found that she was mentally unstable and facing depression for a long time. She could not offer much of her whereabouts but from her language we understood that she hailed from Uttar Pradesh state. Our shelter home further investigated more and contacted Uttar Pradesh police station to enquire about her. Police found her family and asked her husband Mahesh (name changed) to go for verification to the Seva Mandir shelter home. Meanwhile, Meena continued to stay at the shelter home with her daughter.

Mahesh came to Seva Mandir shelter home and briefed about the history of his family. He said that 4 years back they lost a 3-month-old baby boy. Meena was in depression since then and 3 months back she left home with her 3-year-old daughter. Mahesh and his family tried very hard to find her but could not trace her. They even filed a lost report in the police station but came empty-handed. Slowly they lost all hopes of finding her.

When he received information about Meena being alive and safe, he could not believe it at first. He is not sure how she reached so far from home. He cried tears of joy when he saw his wife and daughter and the daughter was more than just happy on seeing her father after so long. The family left happily for their native and Mahesh was given counseling on how to take care of Meena’s depression.

Shelter Home is not just for abused and helpless, it is a home for everyone and the doors are open for all. The aim of our shelter home is to bond the families and in every case, the first attempt is to reunite the families.

Thank you for your support and for the confidence that you have placed in us. None of this would have been possible without you. With your precious support we have been and we will be able to translate Seva Mandir's commitment into a meaningful change.

Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for being conferred with the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. It is a proud and joyful moment for Seva Mandir and the communities of Udaipur region with whom they conducted studies on Health and Education.

Thank you so much.


Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

As part of the Indian government’s Swadhar scheme, Seva Mandir runs a Short-Stay Home, located in a secure facility in Udaipur. Currently, 27 women with 17 children who have fled from domestic violence are housed in the facility. Women come here due to our staffs extensive outreach activities spreading across the area. Our staff attend village community meetings, go on door-to-door visits and post information to ensure women are aware of our work. This work is essential to combating the domestic violence epidemic across India as only 14% of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence have sought help to stop the violence.

According to Government data, in India, 30% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years old have experienced physical violence and 6% have experienced sexual violence. This statistic rises to 33% for married women as 83% reported violence been given by husbands while for unmarried women violence came from mothers (60%), fathers (32%), brothers (26%) and teachers (15%).

Yet, not all cases involve domestic violence at the Short-Stay Home and require our employees to cooperate with state officials on a case by case basis. In one such case, a woman was seen begging for food and living on the streets for 1 month in Badgaon, an area next to Udaipur. Locals noticed, and as they were aware of the Short-Stay Home, they brought her to the centre. However, communication was difficult as she spoke no Hindi. The staff found a number of translators that could identify her spoken language, finding that she was from the distant state of Bihar – nearly 1,500km away. It became clear that the women had some mental health problems that prohibited her communication and memory, as she couldn’t remember how she had left her home village. After many counseling sessions with a translator she was able to convey her home address and asked the staff to call her husband and bring him to Udaipur. Our employees called the local Bihar police station, who looked through their reports and found a report for a missing person fitting her description. The police called the family and talked to the village Sarpanch (elected head) who confirmed they were searching for a missing woman who was also suffering from mental-health problems. Her husband and family came to Udaipur and happily reunited with the lost women.

Seva Mandir and the local state police were able to coordinate this search safely in order to return her home while keeping her housed and fed within the Short-Stay Home. Due to the wide variety of cases, the Short-Stay Home requires constant staff commitment and extensive use of its facilities. With the help of your donation, Seva Mandir will be able to continue to provide these women with security, medical treatment, counseling and legal as well as financial advice. They will learn new skills and it will also help them gain self-confidence.

Thank you so much.


Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, Rajasthan India
$36,221 raised of $90,000 goal
633 donations
$53,779 to go
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