Divya Seva Foundation – Our National Charity 2013-2016
DSF is a UK registered charity committed to empowering and working with UNDERPRIVILEDGED and MARGINALISED communities in less developed countries. The Foundation works with disadvantaged children, orphans, the elderly and the destitute to provide them with better EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, CLOTHING and an improved COMMUNITY LIFE.
Laxmi Parmar- a bright and ambitious young girl from a small village called Ladkui in Gujarat, India. Laxmi was born without any arms and has had to manage all her daily activities with only her legs. Despite her disability she remains intent on completing her education, writing all of her notes and taking her tests using only her feet.
DSF & Child Education
Factors that lower girls’ school attendance include: fees for tuition,;books or uniforms, cultural biases, lack of female teachers, lack of sanitary towels; sexual harassment or abuse and child marriage.
“Laxmi is a very unique child; she has a lot to teach me and the rest of the world about determination, resilience, optimism and love”
DSF have committed to meet the fundamental requirements these schools need, including safe drinking water, wheelchairs for children with disabilities, school uniforms, bags, stationary, books and computers.
DSF & Freedom for girls
During a visit to India, DSF realised that girls were not attending school, and therefore not achieving their goals. There were 2 main reasons for this:
1) Parents did not send girls to school
2) Due to their monthly cycles, girls were missing 5 days of school per month
– DSF quickly realised that girls were told not to go to school during their monthly cycle, and if they did go they had to sit in the corner.
– There was a complete lack of education regarding the menstrual cycle and why it happens.
– They did not have any knowledge on sanitary products and instead used old rags, leaves and even cow dunk.
Freedom For Girls aims to raise awareness about the sanitary situations of girls and young women, through:
– Promoting education, good health and hygiene
– Teaching proper disposal of used sanitary towels
It also strives to provide the young girls with knowledge and skills aimed at making them aware of the physical changes that occur during adolescence. DSF launched the project in Gujarat, 2009 with the distribution of 1,000 packs of sanitary towels and underwear to girls from underprivileged schools in rural areas.
DSF & Mother and baby survival kits
More children under the age of five die in India than in any other country in the world, and largely
from avoidable causes. To address these challenges, DSF has developed a ‘survival kit’ in conjunction with local doctors and nutritionists, to provide the essentials to give newborns a chance at survival.
For Babies: a warm wrapping blanket, changing mat, baby grows, cotton nappies, hats, mittens, bibs, clean towels, soap. Baby powder, baby oil
For Mothers: night gowns, under garments, head scarves, slippers, nutritional packs, sanitary towels and a warm blanket.
These kits are distributed to expectant mothers in rural areas of Gujarat.
DID YOU KNOW?
Of the 27 million babies born in India annually, 3.6 million are born prematurely.
DSF & the community centre
In 2012 DSF recognised the need to have regular activities and a base in the communities they serve. DSF built a community centre to create a space where all were welcome and a place where they could gain care.
– Daily medical clinic where a local doctor is on call every day
– Weekly dental camps which includes free check ups, treatments and medicine.
– Eye camps which undertake checkups for cataracts and free spectacles
– Women’s empowerment programmes where they have provided 20 sewing machines for classes
– Feeding & clothing programmes whereby they provide food and necessities twice a week
– Local community events like weekly Hanuman Chalisa and inspiring lectures
– Gaushala where care for the needs of ten cows is undertaken
To find out more about DSF, visit http://divyaseva.org/