After almost a year of my work with Uplift Humanity, I found myself once again at the local girls’ special home facility in Indore, this time to hand the scholarship money to Babita – last year’s winner. Last year, we had worked with 8 girls on soft skills and other social topics such as depression, confidence, self-defense etc. I had revisited the facility on my birthday in Feb to meet all the girls. Time flies by, I was excited to find out how everyone was doing; are they closer to their goals?
First part of today’s visit was pleasant. I saw the smiling faces of some of my old friends who were still there. The warden proudly asked Jassi and her sisters to show the dresses they have been designing lately. And I was floored! The kurtis were designed and stitched by the girls and looked professional. Jassi informed, with a smile, that she is trying to get into the fashion designing course at a local college. There was a shortage of funds to support her and with God’s grace, we had someone close at hand who agreed to be her donor.
I am very impressed with how Mrs Sapre (their warden) takes a personal interest in the progress of these girls. What is nice about this special home is that efforts are made to not only support these children but ensure they can be independent. I feel extremely glad that Jassi, like her sisters, would be able to pursue a career of her choice. One of her sisters might land an opportunity to visit Scotland this Sep and she is feeling anxious due to her weak English. I am hoping I will be able to coach her (or other) girls in improving their English. Similarly, efforts are underway to get girls into their choice of careers where they can sustain themselves. Babita is giving PAT, BPT, Vet exams etc and we wish that her scholarship would help her inch closer towards independence.
So far so good but then we received some heart-breaking news. One of the 8 girls we had coached last year was taken back home by her parents and she ended up committing suicide. I vividly remember her, she was the kho-kho star I had mentioned in my last blog post. I cannot believe such a talented and confident girl could take such a step unless something drastic had happened. But no one knows. She told no one why. I could not stop thinking how active and good she was.
This is not about her alone – this is, unfortunately, the story of our male centric society. Girls die everyday – some physically, some emotionally – they are not anyone’s priority. What kind of society are we? It is ironical – in today’s episode of Mahabharata, Draupadi was telling Duryodhana how Dusshashan’s execution was a proof that India will not tolerate disrespect of women. How times have changed – no one fights for women (leave apart their respect, not even their right to breathe peacefully) anymore. And yet, how little has it changed – this society has and will keep wronging Draupadi. What gives us right to deny another human being the desire to live? No coaching on depression or confidence can work if we continue to forgive such crimes.
There are still more girls who need help to stand on their feet. And if you would like to contribute to this cause, please drop me a message and I will match you to one of the candidates who deserves to be helped.