Prasad Australia Winter 2014 Newsletter
“We can understand after we stand on our own feet,
how beautiful our life really is.”
Since 2001, PRASAD Chikitsa has helped establish more than 300 Self-Help Groups throughout the Tansa Valley in India. More than 200 of these are women’s groups, of 10 to 20 members from a village.
The groups tackle local problems such as illiteracy, improving road conditions and waste disposal.
They may also serve as micro banks that manage member monthly dues and invest in small businesses, such as buying large cooking pots for hire for weddings, a sewing machine to start a tailoring business, or a tractor to rent to farmers.
PRASAD provides motivational and leadership training, accounting and record keeping support at monthly meetings, and also helps them deal with banks. Villagers are trained as motivators to visit other groups, to learn from each other and create a community network.
Many women are earning money, speaking out, and being heard for the first time.
Self-Help Group in Kusapur
Some men in the village were spending most of their income on alcohol, which caused domestic violence, road accidents, health problems and robbery. The women worked with PRASAD Chikitsa to assess the severity of the problem. With the support of village elders, they decided on a radical plan – to make the village alcohol free. They wrote to sellers and buyers of alcohol, visited those who were addicted and watched closely to prevent the sale of alcohol. Many opposed the campaign, but the women’s resolve and the value of the plan convinced them. Six months afterwards, the alcohol problem is under control.
One of the women said, “Our elders are praising us and we feel very proud. This is the greatest movement in our village history.”
For $140, or $12 per month, you could support a Self-Help Group for one year.
“I wanted to make a difference”
Anne Gorman is one of our long time supporters. She celebrated her 80th birthday on 22 February, surrounded by family and friends at Sydney’s Royal Golf Club. A delicious lunch led to an afternoon of love and laughter, slide shows and stories.
“No presents please,” the invitation read, “but you are welcome to make a donation to my favourite charity, PRASAD Australia.”
Anne loves to help people grow strong and self reliant. “From a very early age,” she says, “I knew I wanted to make a difference, that I had to make a difference.”
The theme of service and generosity runs deeply in her life. One of 13 children, Anne trained as a social worker, married a grazier near Wagga, had five children and was widowed at 38. Always a social activist and reformer, she became Director of the International Year of the Child in NSW; a consultant and business woman, serving on not-for-profit boards, coaching senior executives and teaching meditation. Until this year she was Chair of the Catholic Commission on Employment Relations.
Anne’s memoir, A Country Wife, will be released by Random House in 2015.
Honour someone special
Donating to PRASAD can be a meaningful way to honour someone’s birthday, anniversary, or to make a memorial gift on their passing.
Simply visit our website, click DONATE NOW and complete the option: “I would like to make my donation in honour of ….” For more information on how to invite and coordinate such gifts, please contact us.
Gifts will be acknowledged and we can advise you of the total donations received for the occasion.
Donations are tax deductible. They will make a vital difference to the families in India’s Tansa Valley who are greatly in need.
What your donation can achieve:
- Prenatal blood test with HIV test $4
- Eye surgery $27
- Nutrition supplements for 30 children a month $45
- Nutrition supplements for 75 pregnant women a month $75
- Support a Self Help Group for a year $140
- Vocational/professional education for one student $1000
Every contribution, whatever the amount, is received with heartfelt gratitude.
Are you a PRASAD Australia Sponsor?
Sponsorships may be from $10 per month, tax deductible.
For donations by credit card, transfer or PAYPAL, DONATE NOW.