Continuing from my thoughts last time, not everyone is ready to accept the fact that the best is yet to be. This is true for a number of reasons:
Some are content to live in the past. They delight in the "good old days."
Many are content to live mediocre lives. They are content to drift from day to day.
Insecurity hinders many people from believing that the best is yet to be. They want to hold on to their position or things. They will never know the excitement of launching out with boldness or waiting for the great things of tomorrow.
Negative thinking guides the decisions and attitudes of many people. They choose to accept the premise that the worst is yet to come. They will get what they wish for if they are not careful.
Many people have no goals in their lives. They don't know where they are going today, much less tomorrow.
A few think they don't have any needs. They are pleased with the way things are in their lives. There is always room for improvement in everyone's life.
Fear is always a major enemy to progress. It also hinders a person from becoming excited about the future.
At Purnata we want to keep believing that we have begun a good work, and with the help of our well-wishers we will bring it to completion - which means THE BEST IS YET TO BE!
Yours sincerely for a traffic-free world,
Let me share a few short glimpses of lives and snippets of sad & happy moments:
From one generation to another:
Pranali, one of our children from the time we started has grown up to be a young lady of 19. She was aspiring to join the police force but recently also aspiring to join civil services. During our Women's Day program at Aashray, she gave a very challenging speech to the community on the role of women. She is currently in the first year of her graduation. We are sending her for Computer training and she will come back to help teach teens/youth from both our communities basic computers. She is indeed a success story for us of one who has been helped by us and now is now working to give back to society.
Youth drug addiction program:
We had a program for youth at Jeevan Asha Centre, targeting those who are struggling with addictions, especially drugs. 19 teens/youth attended of which 10 were coming for the first time. We introduced our youth work to them & had a lot of fun doing indoor games. One of our young beneficiaries led them in singing inspirational songs, especially about hope. A friend of ours, a former drug addict who is totally free for 20 years shared his story and challenged the youth to not succumb to addictions, especially drugs. Some of the girls said they would like to join our programs - 3 for football training and 4 for computer training.
Story of Hope:
Naynika shared with us how she came to the area. She is from Kolkata, where her neighbour promised her a lucrative job in Mumbai. She came along with him to Mumbai and he sold her off at Red Light Area. Initially, though she resisted and didn't want to do this "work" she was forced to. The gharwali (brothel keeper) did not pay her for a long time so finally she managed to go under another gharwali. There too she was not given any money but made to slave. Back in her village, Naynika's mother is sick and admitted to the hospital. That is why she finally continued getting exploited, in the hope of earning some money for her mother's treatment. Our staff have been encouraging her to leave. Naynika has been coming to our literacy class at Aashray. She has begun learning the Alphabet. shows interest to leave.
One day, when our staff were having lunch they heard a lot of noise of people fighting. When we checked we found that there was a fight in one of the lady's houses. We saw a customer fighting with Mani because she had taken more money from the customer. Our staff went to settle the quarrel between them but an agent from the area came and beat up the customer before he ran away. Often our staff face risks.
Jaya was sharing that her 5 yrs old child was living with her aunt in her village but he died 14 days ago. Some people are saying that it was an accident but others are saying it is a murder.
Salina has been in the RLA for the last 5-6 months. Someone killed her husband and the case is going on in court but she has no hope of winning the case because the accused is rich.
Saloni, a child of a survivor of human trafficking, is an orphan for many years, having HIV and being helped by Purnata. We are helping her complete her graduation. She is struggling with various issues related to HIV. Our staff and his wife who works with MDACS are counselling her and helping her cope with those issues. Sadly she has reached the third stage and it gets difficult from there.
Mohini’s case is prolonged. Three judges have come and gone and now there is no judge at the moment. Each time when the case made progress, the Judge would get transferred (apart from COVID for 2 years almost) for various reasons. All this is leading her to frustration and hopelessness after waiting almost four years.
Seeta came back to the Area with her 5-year-old daughter Rohini. She says she doesn't want to get back to the trade but came to get help to put her daughter in a hostel. We suggested her a tailoring job after a two-month training during which she will also get a stipend. She agreed to that but hoped she would follow through.
Reet has left the trade and she even moved out of the area. She has a debt of Rs. 50,000. Her so-called "husband" is not permitting her to do work in the area. He earns decently so he has agreed to clear all her debts and take her to his village in Tripura soon.
Chandra took a rental room in Vile Parle probably because her brother has come from Nepal for a job and is staying with her. Her brother doesn't know that she has been working in the trade. If he gets a job then she will leave the area.
A couple of weeks back the examinations of all the children got over. However, the school started again after a 10-day break. Children have started coming to the centre again. We are teaching basic English, Hindi and Marathi so that children who are not able to read or write properly can read and write.
We have begun computer training for a few students and taught drawing and painting to the children in the last week and practised how to save it.
Poonam is 8 months pregnant and has been asking help for with hospital visits. Our staff have been helping her.
Gauri is not happy to continue working in the area. Our staff are encouraging her to leave and she has shown interest to leave and join our Rehab home.
Our beneficiary, Kiran has been working at Smit Studio as a trainee for the last 2 months and now has been confirmed in her job and starts with a salary of 8000 and she will be getting tips too. It is indeed a joyous moment for all of us.
Somaya, who was trained by us, is aspiring to join the police force. She is currently working on her theory and practice regularly, preparing herself for her exam in November.
Citizenship training in the community continues with mentoring from Apnalaya staff. The women are being taught about Govt schemes they can access and we will be collecting a list of issues they are facing to help them understand how they can work on them.
We have started teaching English, Hindi, and Marathi to children who cannot read or write properly so they can read and write.
An average of 15-20 teens/youth have been coming every week for football practice in our two centres.
Our beneficiaries are learning about life & decision-making as part of their life skills training
Three interns from K C College will be visiting our Training centre as part of their research to interview the women with their consent.
We had our all-staff meeting after a gap of a couple of months. It was a good time catching up with each other's work, encouraging one another and sharing some of our plans from our Strategic Planning document which is in the process of completion.
Jasmeet's children, Naren, Vena and Reva, have come and are staying with their aunt Bhima (who finished her training with us), who continues to work hard at her job.
We are close to completing our year 3-year strategic plan and will be whetted by the Board before we finalise it.