IN HINDI, SAMBHALI MEANS “STRENGTHENING OF THE DEPRIVED.”
“Every day I get up, I overthink everything, and this place scratches at my old wounds, but without it, many children and women wouldn’t be able to find the help they need, and it saved me from my brother’s destination”, says Govind.
I recently stayed at the Sambhali Trust in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, run by Govind, the founder and head of the non-governmental organisation (NGO). He created the Trust 13 years ago after witnessing his mother being violently abused by his father. In the end, his brother was unable to shake off what happened to his mother, which had left him severely depressed, and he took his own life. Govind, although traumatised, grew from the experience and made the decision to assist as many women as possible who had experienced domestic violence. With the help of friends and family, he created empowerment centres throughout Western Rajasthan to educate women.
Today, women receive a year of training in sewing techniques to enable them to work, alongside lessons in English, maths, health and self-defence. There is both legal assistance and counselling available. Often, women are unable to participate in programs without family support, and counselling is provided to the family, which helps change the mindset of all. After all, once a woman can sew well, she can bring money into the family home. In Rajasthan, many women are still expected to stay home without education and care for their families, many women are the victims of domestic abuse with nowhere to turn and many women whose husbands have passed away are shunned by their families and expected to live in an ashram or solitary confinement, giving up all comforts, only wearing white and stripped from showcasing any form of happiness. Some are even thrown out of their homes.
By changing one woman’s attitude, her family’s attitude can change, allowing their daughters to attend school in the future. If you want to donate or volunteer at Sambhali Trust, look here.