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Purnata Weekly updates - May Vol. 02 - 2023


Dear Friends,


Too many people think of happiness as the ultimate goal of life. If we're waiting for happiness to arrive then it's likely that it never will! We convince ourselves that we will be happy when we get married or when our loans are paid off or when we have children or when it's a weekend or when we get a job or a car and so on. Whatever particular dream we have, we are sure that when we reach it we will finally be happy. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is a trap. It leaves us always wanting something more, always looking forward to a time when we'll be "happy". With this attitude, we will never reach that goal. Something more attractive or better or bigger will always be our focus.


Happiness can be transient when it is based on things outside of us. Joy on the other hand is an expression of that happiness that comes from inside us and can sustain us. Happiness depends on happenings around us but joy comes from genuine inner contentment. Joy comes from dwelling on what is eternal and what we were meant to be.


Happiness should not be our life's goal, it should be our life! The only time to be happy is right now! It's a state of mind, not a set of accomplishments or the accumulation of material things. There is no time to achieve happiness other than right now. We must accept that life will always have challenges and things will not always go our way and make the decision to be happy right now. Instead of feeling disappointed when things don't work out the way we had hoped, feel grateful for the experience and learn from it. Instead of dreaming of a brighter, happier, richer tomorrow, make today as wonderful as we can. Treasure each moment that we have air in our lungs and treasure the people we share those moments with.


Stop Waiting for Happiness to Arrive!


More, next time!


As we share glimpses of our work, there are sad heart-breaking moments in our work but also so much to celebrate. We choose to be happy now and let that inner joy reflect in our relationships, in our service and in how we conduct ourselves. Right now, you have the opportunity to be a part of this transformation. It is happening to each and every woman/child/youth whom we serve through our programs. Whether that's through our efforts to protect the vulnerable, rescue victims, heal survivors, or empower women - you're changing lives with us. Thank you!


Yours sincerely for a traffic-free world,


aaboo :-)

 

Aashray DIC:


We see constant change happening. Some are leaving the area for their hometown or to other RLA's. Others are newly coming in under the pretext of visiting but sooner or later they end up in the trade. Some have issues with their so-called husbands and have come back.


Our staff are relentlessly working to encourage women to participate in activities and offering them a better option. The response of the women has been fluctuating between positive cooperation and indifference due to comparison with others who help them. Our dream of a traffick-free world seems to get more distant by the day. But we won't give up until the last woman has found freedom and a better life.

 

Aashray DCC:


We have nearly 25-30 children coming for our program and only one staff to handle them. Currently, Arti manages the children alone and it can get crazy. We urgently need a trained staff to manage the children's work along with her. Being vacation time children from the hostels are there at their homes too.


Though we have started in a small way already, we plan to start proper computer training for the teens and youth. As mentioned last time, Pranali has enrolled for Maharashtra State Certificate in IT (MS-CIT) and hopefully she will train other teens and youth in computers in both our centres in the days to come. Fahad, one of our boys from when we began Aashray, had dropped out of school and now we are trying to enrol him for 10th std through Open School. About 10 teens continued football training.

 

Jeevan Asha DCC:


Currently, Santosh manages the children alone and it can get crazy. We urgently need trained staff to manage the children's work along with him. About 10 children are regular for the football training. Our staff have been visiting the homes of the children and teens, motivating/counselling them and sorting out issues. Being our coach Jesson's birthday last week, the children along with staff celebrated and wished him.

 

Kolkata/West Bengal:


Our team facilitated the transfer of Dimple from Lore home, and she is now on her way to leave Kolkata and goto Mumbai and be with her eldest sister. We will be planning for her future and making Individual Care Plans for her. Dimple got to spend a day with her younger sister before she leaves. The Knowledge Fair was held from the 19th to the 23rd in Kolhapur, hosted by Avani (NGO), from the cohort with Global Fund for Children (GFC). This is what happened.

Day 1: Organisation took turns to share their dreams for their communities, and even Purnata dreams were shared by the source area team. Afterwards, we had time to learn about each other's self-assessments.


This was an excellent time to learn about the organisation facilitating community-led changes.


Day 2: The Avani team invited 4 Village communities, and the people shared about their dreams, as did we. It was a time to learn about how communities have been proactive about their community and their dreams for their communities.

 

Life story focus – Meghna


I got married at a very young age to a man who was a drunkard. He used to drink and regularly quarrelled with me. Once I found out that he had another woman and he married her too. So, I decided to leave him but I had two small daughters by then.


One day a woman in my village promised me a job in Mumbai. I came with hopes and dreams but when we reached Mumbai she sold me at Mumbai Red Light Area. It's been 18 years since I was first sold. I didn't want to do the "work" there and I used to be beaten by my Gharwali.


After some time I fell in love with one of my customers. I stopped doing this "business" but later I began working again in this trade as I had no other option. My two daughters are now married & settled down, one in Delhi and one in Kolkata. I have another son and daughter staying with me in a room I've rented nearby.


My husband was working in Malaysia but due to some health problems, he is back in his hometown UP. Once he gets better and is able to work again, I want to leave the area.

 

Two years and yet no justice!


Our staff have been helping Bharti (our beneficiary who now is working and independent) with her son, Mangesh's murder case. On 18th May our staff, along with her, visited the police station. The police called all three of Mangesh's friends - questioning them about the truth of the matter regarding his death. They also called a social worker from Mumbai who had initially helped Bharti go to the police station along with her.


The social worker and the three friends all doubted Aneesh as he seemed to know what happened or was involved. He has been absconding for the last six months and a complaint has been filed against him.


Since the case has been going on for almost two years, there is pressure from senior officers asking for closure in the case. They are pressuring her to sign and close the case (they had given her time till 21st May) or else they will close the file. For long the police have tried to make it a case of suicide but there is compelling evidence to prove it is a murder which they have been ignoring. We will pursue justice for this grieving mother.

 

Staff crunch:

We are working with a severe staff crunch leading to a major load on those staff who are currently in the concerned projects. We need to hire new trained and competent staff urgently.


Health issues:

Various staff have been struggling with health issues, either personally or in their families. Particularly our senior leaders in Mumbai - one struggling with a terminal illness in her family and the other with the loss of a loved one while another is struggling with personal health issues. All this has led to a lack of sufficient oversight and support for field staff and pressure on the work.


Financial sustainability:

We are working hard to fill all the gaps in our funding. We urgently need fresh partners and new long-term individual donors. We are surprised at times when new donors give and we don't know who they are, making it difficult to issue receipts or thank you letters. On the other hand, we are working hard to find new individual donors to come alongside on this journey with us. We are also writing several proposals in the hope of finding long-term CSO's and institutional donors to come to work with us in the future.


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