Saturday, February 13, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Update on brave Gujarati girl (Feb 13, 2010)


Update on Gujarati girl
Dear donors,
Please read this mail carefully and express your opinion (if any) on the way to help this promising young and determined girl. Please respond by February 20, 2010.
Options considered are:
1.        Make the entire donated amount in a Fixed Deposit with an option to take the interest every year. Prevailing rates India are around 6-7% per annum.
2.        Clear full or partial loan (Rs.75,000) and give the rest of the month to her for her educational purpose. According to her, she is going for labor work as the earnings are not enough to feed the family. So, if the loan is cleared, she need not go to field work and concentrate on studies.
If I do not hear from you by February 20, 2010, we will go with one of the above two options that we feel optimal.
Please reply with either of these two options only.
Other details of our conversation:
I spoke to the girl today, Mr Kirit acting as interpreter. She came to Mr Kirit's home along with her father for this purpose. I am happy, she is in good spirits.
We are planning to complete this task by March 31, 2010, if not earlier.
Here is the update on her:
1.        He applied for teacher job and waiting. She is confident that she will get the job if given on merit (she is a distinction student) without bribes. But, as we all know getting a job without influence or money is next to impossible in India.
2.Currently she is not working as a laborer since there is no seasonal work now.
3.        Her father is still recovering from her accident.
4.        Her father has an auto loan of Rs.75,000 and has to pay Rs.4,000 every month as installment. He has to pay for two more years
5.        He along with his elder son used to earn Rs.200 per day (Rs. 6,000 per month) after all expenses are paid. Now only his son working.
6.        She is doing BA (English) in Ambedkar Open University and would like to continue her graduation even if she gets a job.
7.Her parents are very supporting of her on education.
8.She is not interested in a career in Computers.
9.In our conversation she said "I am very happy now not because of the money you are giving, but for the support you are giving me during my worse trials and tribulations." I found her very intelligent when she says something.
10.     She and her father were determined to put her perpetrators to shame by aspiring and achieving greater things in life.
Action items to Kirit:
1.        Check for English coaching institutes in Unza (her Taluk head quarters and where she is studying her degree) so that she can take English speaking classes after her college. Get information about them – duration of the course, reputation, fee, accreditation etc) and send it to me.
2.        If no institutes in Unza, check in Mehsena (District headquarters) to see if there any such courses offered during summer vacations. If yes, send the information on those institutes.
3.        Check the bank interest rates.
Action items for Benjamin:
1.        Consolidate all the donations received. Send reminders to donors promised donations (if any).
2.        Make arrangements to send money to India.
3.        Get the opinion of donors on the option of help.
4.        See that the money is delivered by March 31, if not earlier. Make every effort to complete it before that.
Please write to me if any questions.
I profusely thank you all for coming forward to help this unfortunate bright girl and for giving me an opportunity to be of a little use.
With regards
Benjamin Kaila
An educated man without character and humility was more dangerous than a beast. If his education was detrimental to the welfare of poor, he was a curse to society.
-Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar
Please visit or

From: Benjamin Kaila <>

Sent: Fri, January 29, 2010 5:04:17 PM
Subject: Update on brave Gujarati girl

Dear donors and friends,
Thanks to all those who came forward to help.
I spoke to the brave Gujarati girl a couple of days ago.  She is a very brave and intelligent girl. Tough we spoke most of the time in Hindi (with my broken butler Hindi), for her background, she spoke English comfortably. At the end I am convinced that she has a great potential to excel, only if there a helping hand to give her a push in this time of need.
Here is what I gathered from my conversation with her:
1.       She lives in Mehesena district (Unja Taluk) 85Km away from Ahmedabad.
2.       Her father (an auto driver) met with an accident and could not work for 2-3 months.
3.       She has two elder sisters (both married) and two brothers (one married and another is a B Com student)
4.       She completed her teacher training (primary level) with distinction and applied for govt jobs advertised
5.       She is currently doing a basic computer training that is required for teaching position
6.       She is also doing BA (English) from Dr Ambedkar Open University and continue it even after joining a job
7.       Her wish is to become an officer
8.       Many NGOs and politicians visited her, but did not get any help so far
9.       She is doing labor work (Rs. 30-40/day) to feed herself and her family while attending school
10.   Her father is not willing to send her away from Mahesana for fear of her safety. I am trying to convince on this.
11.   Immediate need is to find a job for her to stand on her own legs and to keep her mind occupied
12.   She is very confident that she will be OK and her statement "I consider myself a victor, not a victim" impressed me so much.
13.   I was told (by other sources) that she attempted suicide a few weeks ago. I purposefully avoided bringing it into conversation.
What we did so far:
1.       We collected approximately Rs.1 lakh. We are considering all possibilities to help her the best way. I will ask your suggestions on this ASAP.
2.       We are talking to several contacts (intellectuals and people in position) in India to get her a job near her place.
3.       We are trying to understand what her priorities in education. She is keen on becoming an officer. We are exploring the possibilities of sending her to an English speaking course, advanced computer course (if she is interested). She was not interested in Nursing, though I thought that may fetch a quick and a comfortable job.
4.       She may need psychological counseling to keep her out of depression. We are finding possibilities of getting such help. We are asking around.
Currently, Mr Kirit and Dr Raghavendra, both from Gujarat helping me on this case. Thanks to both of them apart from all donors.
Due to the sensitivity of the issue, we are very careful. But, without asking we will not be able to help. So, if someone can help us in anyway, please let me know ASAP.
We are still collecting donations. Please send if you like to help her.
With regards
An educated man without character and humility was more dangerous than a beast. If his education was detrimental to the welfare of poor, he was a curse to society.
-Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar
Please visit or

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