October 17, 2012

Child Sex Ratio in India continues to fall.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 Relief Projects India

(From Rediff News:) In an alarming trend, girl child numbers in India have shown a sharper decline than the male children in the decade beginning 2001, leading to a skewed child sex ratio. Ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child on Thursday, the government said that while the decade saw an overall drop in share of children to total population, nearly three million girls, one million more than boys, are "missing" in 2011 compared to 2001 and there are now 48 fewer girls per 1,000 boys than there were in 1981. "During 2001-2011, the share of children to total population has declined and the decline was sharper for female children than male children in the age group 0-6 years," said the study "Children in India 2012-A Statistical Appraisal" conducted by the Central Statistical Organisation. "Though, the overall sex ratio of the country is showing a trend of improvement, the child sex ratio is showing a declining trend, which is a matter of concern," the study said.

October 15, 2012

Distributing Stationery Goods

Monday, October 15, 2012 Relief Projects India

Many thanks to Link Pen for sending a wonderful supply of stationery items for the tuition students. As a new school term recently started we have been busy distributing them. We are also keeping a few supplies back so that we can offer the students a little something every two months if they faithfully attend the tuitions. We hope this will be an incentive for them.

Above: Giving some 'pep' talks to one of the tuition groups.
Left: These two little girls are a bit young for tuitions but they wanted to make sure they received a package too!

August 22, 2012

Construction Progress

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 Relief Projects India

Top: Underground rain-harvesting tank, and irrigation pipes
Bottom: Engineer room and storage shed (left) and main building (right.)

July 23, 2012

Packages Received

Monday, July 23, 2012 Relief Projects India
Many thanks to Leena, Vaaka organisation and Kestovaippayhidistys organisation, all from Finland, for the wonderful packages you sent.

July 11, 2012

Annual School Day for Creche Students

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Relief Projects India
Before the new school year started in June, the Creche students participated in the annual school day organised by RPI and CESS. They enjoyed performing their rhymes, alphabet songs etc for their parents. Students 'graduating' to first grade received school bags

Construction Progress

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Relief Projects India

Work in progressing on the SHE rural and educational centre, which will house 5 classrooms, 2 offices, 4 toilets, handicap facilities, meeting areas, and a rain-harvesting tank.

May 17, 2012

Five Day Summer Program for Teenage Village Girls

Thursday, May 17, 2012 Relief Projects India

For the month of May, (summer school holiday time in India) we organised a five day camp for the teenage girls who have been attending our awareness programs. Topics covered included education, career counseling, moral life, abortions, feoticide and infanticide. Special speakers came to cover some of these topics. Talks, as usual, were interspersed with lots of games, competitions and fun activitites. The first day, about 60 girls attended, the second day, 90 and the third day, over 100. Many more girls wanted to attend from villages further away, but were unable to because of transport difficulties, so next time we will look into the possibilities of organising transportation for them.
PHOTOS: Top left - some of the attendees; top-right - lunch time; bottom left - fun and games; bottom right - special guest giving a talk.

April 13, 2012

Baby girl tortured to death by her father for being a girl

Friday, April 13, 2012 Relief Projects India
"Despite the laws, the committees, and the rest of it, unwanted little girls are either exterminated inside the womb or crushed outside. India’s already skewed infant sex ratio is getting worse." This is an excerpt from one of the many articles about the tragic incident of a second baby girl in a matter of months being tortured to death by her father, who wanted a boy. Read the full article here: Asian Age
RPI continues working with mothers, children and adolescent girls in 16 villages to fight against the discrimination of the girl child, and also to improve the health standards of women and children.

April 6, 2012

Thank you Samir for this Easter present for Lil' Darlings

Friday, April 06, 2012 Relief Projects India

A new bicyle with training wheels!
Photos: Daniel needed some help at first (top left) but soon got the hang of turning the pedals (top right.) Then he gave a helping hand to Rani (bottom right.) Induja is a bit too short but that didn't stop her from having fun on the bike (bottom left.)

March 2, 2012

February 4, 2012

Article on the Status of the Girl Child in India

Saturday, February 04, 2012 Relief Projects India

The following article appeared in today's edition of the New Indian Express newspaper.

Neglecting girl child a shame to India’s past

The New Indian Express
 04 Feb 2012
That the badge of being ancient civilisations cannot always be worn with pride by India and China is evident from the finding of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs that even in the 21st century the female infant mortality rate in these two countries is higher than that of the male infant mortality rate. Not only that, this dubious distinction was ‘achieved’ when the figures were compared with 148 other countries. What is distressing about such statistics is that not only has the advent of the modern, supposedly more enlightened, age failed to improve the condition of girls, but has even caused a worsening as the falling male-female ratio in India shows.

Female foeticide is a main reason for the skewed ratio which can have damaging social consequences. Yet, the fact that it is the well-to-do who indulge in this patent illegality shows how little awareness there is even among the educated classes of either the moral or the social imperatives. Such brazenness is even more shocking than the desperate acts of the poor who often kill their infant girls or abandon them because they look upon the female child as a financial burden. As the continuing instances of dowry deaths have shown, laws are not a solution to the deep-rooted problem, which is related to a traditional bias against women who are expected to remain subservient to their fathers in childhood, husbands in their youth and sons in old age.

If the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostics Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act has not been a notable success, the reason is the hidden social sanction for preventing the birth of a girl child. Hence, the mushrooming of illegal clinics where sex determination tests are done. In addition to further strengthening the punishment for families opting for such tests, it is the overall uplift of the status of women that can save the girl in the womb and ensure her well-being in later life.

January 27, 2012

School Uniforms for Creche Students

Friday, January 27, 2012 Relief Projects India

After some discussion on whether or not the expense was justified, we all agreed that school uniforms would be very beneficial for the self-esteem of the children, and their sense of self-worth. The uniforms were stitched by some ladies in the local villages who know tailoring which gave them some work and added income. We think they all look lovely!

January 16, 2012

Awareness Programs for Village Teenage Girls

Monday, January 16, 2012 Relief Projects India
We have started regular monthly awareness meetings for teenage girls from local villages. The program consists of games and activies, interspersed with awareness talks on relevant issues, such as hygiene, nutrition, (in India, anemia is the 2nd most common cause of maternal deaths accounting for 19% of total maternal deaths,*) female infanticide, education, aids awareness etc. These meetings have been very well attended with between 60-100 girls regularly participating. They are starting to open up also about the problems they see in their villages, even citing prostitution as a problem, along with high dowries, lack of respect for women etc.
For Pongal (the Harvest festival of South India, which is a big celebration,) the girls also enjoyed dance competitions and displayed a lot of talent. We hope you enjoy the photos below of our meetings.
*'Nutritional Status of Rural Pregnant Women' by
L.H. Madhavi, H.K.G. Singh,Department of Community Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Khaja Banda Nawaz Institute of Medical Science,Gulbarga-585105 (Karnataka)

Click on an image to see a larger version.