We arrived in Delhi yesterday afternoon. Stepping out of the plane and onto the tarmac was like stepping into a warming oven. The temperature was nearly 115°, even the shade didn’t seem to make much difference. The breeze swirled by like a hair dryer on high, and I could feel the heat radiating off the asphalt all around.
Luckily for us, we are staying at a hotel for this portion of the trip. To our great joy the room had a working, albeit noisy, air conditioner. It also had a comfortable bed and a soft pillow and a real shower with plenty of water. It is interesting what we take for granted and how wonderful it is to have those conveniences again after a period without. This small simple hotel feels very luxurious at this point in the trip.
Today we visited another project that Child Haven International supports – the women’s project Manav Vikas Parishad (MVP) in nearby Ghaziabad. It is a small NGO that helps local impoverished women with training, medical care, and child education. The tailoring program teaches useable skills to young women of the community ages 15 and older. They come to MVP for a free of cost 6 month course which teaches the basics of tailoring; how to use a sewing machine, how to make and cut a pattern, and how to sew a variety of standard dress options. With these skills the women are able to get a job at a local tailoring shop, sometimes even set up a shop of their own, and help out in their own household with tailoring needs.
The team at MVP is lead by Rajni, one of two Child Haven employees. She is a very dedicated and caring women who has seen her own share of tragedy. She is able to understand and connect with the women in the community and win their confidences. There are also literacy classes, a homeopathic health clinic, with a volunteer doctor, and the Soyacow program which provides low cost milk and employment to local women.
I have worshipped woman as the living embodiment of the spirit of service and sacrifice. – Mahatma Gandhi
We recently heard of a man in Coimbatore, India who invented a low cost, environmentally friendly machine to make sanitary napkins for women. This article in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper –“India’s women given low-cost route to sanitary protection” written by Lakshmi Sandhana, tells the story. A startling number of women in India and many other countries of the world still lack access to or the means to purchase hygienic products to use during their menstrual cycle. They use rags or newspaper instead and shame and stigma are passed from one generation to the next. The inventor, Arunachalam Muruganantham, wants to change this and Child Haven would like to help.
Here is a video of the inventor accepting the ‘Made in India’ award.
We are looking at the possibility of meeting with him later in the trip to discuss the potential of purchasing some machines for the various women’s projects that Child Haven supports including the MVP project in Ghaziabad. These machines will be incredibly beneficial, producing a stable income for the women of MVP and providing hygienic products and education for the local community that they live in.
If you are interested in helping to fund this project or any of the Child Haven projects please visit their website and pledge your support today.
Thanks for Reading!