More than 63 million women are “missing” statistically and more than 21 million girls are unwanted by their families in India, government officials say.
—The Guardian, January 30, 2018.
These are not just numbers, each one has a story. We first met Sonamoni in 2016. She is a poor mother with one daughter in a remote rural village of West Bengal. Sonamoni has joined YGB’s business microloan program and is now earning an income work by making mats with other 10 local women. Sonamoni had been a victim of severe domestic violence because she gave birth to her daughter, not a son. Her husband’s physical abuse continued until last year when the leader of her micro loan group “Shakti Dol” stepped in with her entire group’s support to protect Sonamoni. “My happiness means nothing if my group friend is suffering!” Shandhya, the group leader said. Together with our NGO partner NISHTHA, they took the case to a local community office who pressured her husband to change his behavior. Within a few months, her husband started to treat her better and she is much happier today.
This January, we visited Sonamoni again in her village. It was truly inspiring to witness her transformation. Today, she is an advocate in the fight against domestic violence. She wants to help other local women who are suffering at the hands of their husbands.During our visit to villages this January, we met many impoverished mothers who are victims of domestic violence. It was a powerful experience for us to witness how our micro loan groups have become critical social support for these women, who never had this kind of peer support. This program not only facilitates monetary support but just as important, connects women within their local communities to empower themselves and their daughters. For most of these women, this is the first time they have dared to voice opposition to mistreatment and claim their dignity.
Together, we help the fight against domestic violence, early marriage and human trafficking
West Bengal has the most human trafficking cases in India as well as deep rooted gender discrimination. This continues to challenge girls and mothers daily. YGB’s global support now extends to nearly 400 mothers with micro loans, 400 young daughters with primary education, as well as 150 young teen students with SHE (Scholarship for Higher Education) in this region. Our NGO partner NISHTHA, works tirelessly to provide educational opportunities for our fund recipients. These sustainable means and tools seed deep understanding of gender equality in rural communities.
Please take a stand and make your voice heard. Join our ONE MILLION YOGIS CAMPAIGN with as little as $5 a month. Together, we can make a life-changing impression on so many more lives in Mother India.