At Sambhali, we equip underprivileged women with the tools to become financially independent, provide for their children, and establish self-sustaining communities of support. In addition to providing classes in Hindi, English and Math, Sambhali Trust teaches income-generating skills such as sewing, hand embroidery and computer and business knowledge.
The lockdown, imposed in India due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has abjectly affected women with regard to their socio-economic conditions. During the intense lockdown, they were trapped inside their homes with the rest of the family members day and night which caused tremendous pressure on them. On one hand, they became victims of the increased pressure to carry out the chores of the houses, fulfilling the expectations of everyone in the family, right from the children to the elderly and their husbands, while on the other hand, it was them who were the target of the frustration of the males of the family caused by losing their jobs.
At Sambhali, our women have an opportunity to stay out of their homes for few hours a day learning new things and escaping the patriarchal oppressions back at homes. Here, mingling with their likes at our Women Empowerment and Primary Education Centers of Sambhali, they share their stories and perceptions with each other and draw strength to fight the hardships of their lives in a friendly, safe and encouraging environment.
But first the lockdown and then the restrictions of the unlocking phases have barred the Trust from carrying out all its activities, both for women and children. All the projects have ceased to continue, thereby shutting the doors for these women to our Empowering Centers and children to schools and the Boarding Homes leaving them with no option than to stay in the same distraught family conditions.
But we cannot leave them to their destiny. The dream of a vaccine is still far-fetched and with persistent pandemic restrictions, economic conditions will also take longer to be normal. So, the sufferings of those women and children do not appear to be over any time soon.
In such a testing time, two square meals is still a chase for many of them. Sambhali Trust is committed to support those families by providing them food until the economic conditions are on track. We have done this through 3 months of lockdown distributing groceries in 12 villages about 100 km West of Jodhpur serving 566 badly affected families covering about 3000 km under amid harsh weather conditions of the desert. This apart, 1143 other families were contacted for basic awareness about Covid-19 and distribution of soaps and masks considering their inaccessibility to the precautionary information. We are still serving 23 such families, both rural and urban, and would not hesitate to add more deserving ones.
We try to support Sambhali’s women and anybody else who needs our help as much as possible. Everybody faces problematic situations right now but the pandemic and long lockdowns hit some people harder than others.
In order to reach out to more people in need in this difficult time, we are also using our Nirbhaya Telephone HelpLine (1800 1200 020). We provide support and counseling for those suffering domestic and verbal abuse and medical emergencies as well as practical help and referrals to appropriate agencies within Jodhpur. This helpline can also be used for those who are in need of food, clothing, masks or emergency supplies in Jodhpur and Setrawa. We will be able to provide these resources from Sambhali Headquarters.