Hilary, who is the translator in our team, gave a talk about Akshy Association last week to a group of british ladies during the monthly reunión in Torre del Mar, Málaga.
Hilary has all our admiration for her commitment to spread the work of Akshy and for her most valuable collaboration as translator since the beginning of the Association.
These are her words:
“I first introduced Raquel and AKSHY from the start of the Association, then went on to describe the overall social and caste situtation of the dalits in India, especially in rural areas: the dwellings, the lack of work, the food, the lack of clean water, of sanitation, of health care, education, etc, especially noting the dalits own personal lack of self-esteem and human dignity, a consec¡quence of the treatment imposed upon them by higher castes. Afterwards I described how Raquel, with thte help of generous benefactors and friends, has, over the past ten years, worked very hard to improve their standard of living in 3 main areas:
- Education of the children: by building our Akshay Educational Centre and also by opening 2 other primary schools in dalit villages. I explained that Akshy now has students, their expenses still covered by the Association, who continue their studies at higher levels. Many of the primary school children have sponsors who exchange letters, photos, etc. with them; the children are delighted when letters arrive and share this pleasure with their classmates. I mentioned also the emphasis that Akshy gives to the education of girls, tomorrow’s mothers who if they have had schooling will most probably send their children to school too.
- Empowerment of Women; classes for mothers and young girls such as sewing, henna dyening, learning to sign their names for important documents, etc. Akshy grants microcredits in certain cases so these women can earn a little money to help in the meagre familiy economies. Talks are also held on vital subjects such as infant hygiene, mesntruation, the disadvantages of child marriages, etc.
- Special Attention is given to the elderly, especially lonely widows and the disabled: their housing is repaired where necessary, food provided regularly, as well as help being given with regard to applications for pensions and other benefits, since these people are completely and utterly illiterate.
I then described briefly how the Association depends on its benefactors and the different manners of donating- a monthly amount, a one-time donation, a group amount, etc, as well as the cooperation of its memebers in publicising Akshy and helping to find new members.
I completed the talk by saying that Akshy Association is small but works hard and is grateful to its helpers for all their assistance. AKSHY agrees with Mother Theresas’s words, “We are a drop in the ocean, but what would the ocean be without its drops?”
The ladies applauded and thanked her for making them more aware of the terrible situtation lived and suffered by these people.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH HILARY!