Having recently joined Karuna Trust I would first like to apologize for the delay in this report and secondly thank you so much for your generous support to date. I am pleased to say that as part of my induction I visited several of our projects in Maharashtra in March this year. This project was among those I visited and was the one that gave me the greatest inspiration. I met Manisha Tokale, the secretary of our project partner SPMM and many of the rest of the team. Manisha is such a powerhouse, fighting for the rights of Dalit women in the Beed district, that I have included a short profile on her in the attached report. I visited Padalshingi, one of the villages in which women are benefiting from the project's work. Seeing the expressions on the faces of the women being addressed by Manisha was my main inspiration. I was told that the women of the village had previously had no role to play in village decisions and now they are leading the change themselves. I have mentioned in the report that this one village now has 25 women's support groups, which means that around 400 women are directly benefiting just in that one village. I have also included the case study of Alka Masukale who has started her own small scale enterprise as a result of the project. I was particularly impressed with the structure and organization of the project. Training plays such an important part in delivering the activities and the project is ensuring that new women leaders are being recruited and trained all the time. Of course the women's groups are one part of the work, the other, more graphical side of the project's commitment is to support Dalits who experience violence. The project team talked me through some of the atrocity cases they have been involved in and I have included details of an attack against two young women Diksha Ashruba Shinde and her sister Panchshila who the Flying Squad have assisted. At the end of the project I have included a table which details the project's results against the objectives of each activity. I have also attached our latest Newsletter, which includes the story of Sanjivani Pawar (Beyond Fear) a beneficiary of this project. After the death of her husband Sanjivani lost her land and experienced sexual harassment from the men of the village. Since becoming involved in the project she has successfully won a Land Rights battle, is leading one of the women's self help groups and is a leader within her village. Thank you so much for you on going support. Your generosity really is making a difference to the lives of women experiencing discrimination, sexual harassment and social exclusion.
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