Sambhali Trust is a non-profit charitable organisation based in Jodhpur, whose focus is the development and empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan.
We provide underprivileged Rajasthani women and girls with an education in English, Hindi and Maths, as well as training in vocational and social skills, to support them in developing confidence and self-esteem, and help them work towards financial independence.
We specifically work with the Dalit community, who experience discrimination on a daily basis because of their low standing in India's stratified social hierarchy or 'caste system'. Dalit women are greatly suppressed due to the patriarchal nature of this community, and have little or no access to education They are denied the right to choose their own husband and often face a high level of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse within their family circle and community.
We help these women break their cycle of poverty and financial dependence on family members, by teaching them valuable practical skills. Sambhali Trust gives them a voice and a support network to nurture their hopes and ambitions, which allows them the freedom to work towards an individual dream, a priceless gift in their oppressive social and economic situation.
“I was born in a village two hours from Setrawa. I was 14 years old when I got married, and moved to Setrawa with my husband. Now I have four sons and two daughters. One daughter is married and living with her husband, and one son got married so his wife is now living with us. My oldest son completed 8th standard before he got into a bad driving accident, and his injuries and operation now prevent him from working. None of my other sons or daughters are working.
Three years ago Mrs Manju Mehta (Manager, Sheerni SHG Project), first came to my area and she told all of us about Sambhali’s Self-Help Project. She told us good things about the project and that it would help us so I thought, now I’m just sitting in my house, I should try this opportunity to make things better. I took money for the first time two years ago. I took a 7,000 rupee loan and 3,000 of my own family money and I bought a flour-grinding machine. In my area, no one has a grinding machine, so this has been very helpful for us.
Six months ago, my husband died. Sambhali gave me a grant for 20,000 rupees so I could open a fancy shop with sweets and clothes. No-one in my family was helping to support me. I had four older brothers-in-law, but they’re all dead, and I have two younger brothers-in-law but one is very ill with blood in his cough so nobody can help me when my family needs help.
My oldest son who had the accident can’t do anything, the second is sometimes doing stone work with his uncle but he is really too young to do this, the third one is working as a stock boy at a vegetable stand, and the fourth also can’t work because he has a stomach problem that doctors can’t figure out. They’ve done many x-rays and tests on him and still they don’t know, and he must take medicine every day, so he has many medical expenses.
I’m not scared about the future anymore. I have a lot of trust in Sambhali and I feel that if I need help in the future, they will help me. Sambhali Trust sponsors one of my daughters to go to a private school in Setrawa village. Because Sambhali helped me, now I want to grow my shop business. I will buy clothes, dishes, plates and kitchen things, a refrigerator to sell cold drinks and ice cream in the summer, and more. I’m very happy with this program and I will never forget how they helped me.“