The Sri Sathya Sai Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust makes charitable donations on a regular basis, and during special events. At the medical camps of the Women and Child Care Project, in addition to free medical care and medicines for the women and immunizations for the babies, the women are given a sari, a hygiene kit, a kilo of Sai protein powder (a nutritious mix of sprouted ragi, rice, and fried dal). Newborns are also given a baby kit that contains items such as clothes, blankets and toys. Water filters are also given out to the new mothers, and to the village schoolteachers who give up their classrooms for the medical camps.
The Easwaramma Trust is continuing with its social programs for the uplift of rural women and children in the surrounding area.
The Sri Sathya Sai Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust is carrying on with its eight-year program of monthly medical camps for mothers and children in the area surrounding Puttaparthi. We are now able to handle more complicated cases by diagnosing and referring the patients to hospitals.
In the past nine months (June, 2013 – March, 2014) our totals for medical check-ups are as follows:
The sanitation program is an extension of the mother-and-child health and hygiene mandate of the Easwaramma Trust. In surveys in the local villages, toilets were determined to be what was most needed next. Once the give-away program was announced, an overwhelming number of applications came in, over 5000 in the first year.
Recipients were carefully chosen according to the Trust’s need-based policies. Four contractors have been continuously building 50 toilets each at a time. A maximum of 1000 are being built in the first year of this program, most within 60 km. of Puttaparthi, but this is an ongoing project expected to continue at the rate of approximately 1000 per year.
The villagers themselves, as well as the village schools and the village governing councils (panchayats), are welcoming the teams of contractors, even offering food and fruits to them with happy faces.
After assessing the needs of secondary school children in the Puttaparthi District, the Easwaramma Trust decided on donating notepads to children for taking notes and doing homework assignments. Eight government schools out of the eleven schools surveyed were evaluated as being in need, so as a start, 1610 students in the 8th, 9th and 10th standards in these schools are being given six small and six large writing tablets each, the covers printed with Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s and Mother Easwaramma’s photos.
This is now an ongoing project for the Easwaramma Trust, and schools in other districts are being surveyed for their needs. Other items that might enhance students’ studies are also being considered for future giveaways, such as solar lamps, geometry boxes, atlases and science kits. Textbooks were also considered for donation, but the state government has now taken this up.
On the occasion of Ladies Day, 2013, the SSSEWWT took the opportunity to organize a charitable give-away in Sai Kulwant Hall of 50 keys to newly built toilets for village ladies. School supplies were also given away to 500 school children from the surrounding villages.
For the privacy, safety, and health of qualifying pregnant women, the Sri Sathya Sai Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust has further started a donation program of toilets in the homes of these village women. Initial installation of 200 toilets has already begun; this number is expected to greatly expand, eventually catering to large segments of society.
Hard as it may be to believe, in the villages served by our medical camps, ladies still have to walk up the hill behind the house and use the outdoors for personal hygiene. Besides the discomfort and inconvenience, they often have to accomplish this in the dark. This is one reason we have been giving solar lamps in charity for a number of years, but in spite of giving so many of these lamps, there are still thousands of women who have not received them, so they run the additional danger of being bitten by snakes or scorpions.
For these reasons, as well as privacy, comfort and respect, the Sri Sathya Sai Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust has begun a program of donating toilets. The program will start with 100 units. Ladies coming to our medical camps are briefed on this new program, and submit an application if they wish to receive a toilet. Each recipient has to demonstrate that her single-room house is owned by someone in the family rather than rented, and provide a number of details in documentation. Once it is established that the case is legitimate, the Trust builds an Indian-style toilet either in the home or attached to the outside (whichever is appropriate) and installs a septic tank.
In 2013-2014 this project was extended beyond the participants of our medical camps to include all village ladies in the districts served by Easwaramma Trust.
As part of ongoing charitable distribution projects, during the November, 2012 Ladies Day celebrations, the Sri Sathya Sai Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust gave away to local village women over 600 kerosene stoves. The reason for kerosene stoves is the rising price of cooking gas, as well as rationing of gas.
Also as part of ongoing distribution programs, 50 solar lamps were given to needy eighth to twelfth class students so they can have steady light for studying in the years to come, in spite of extensive power cuts in the region.
Initially, graduating senior girls from Puttaparthi and vicinity who qualify by both poverty and outstanding scholastic performance can now apply for the Sri Sathya Sai Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust scholarships to the universities of their choice anywhere in India. The scholarships carry a maximum of 50,000 rupees per year (about $1000), and are designed to support each girl’s entire three-year baccalaureate education.
During cultural programs sponsored by the Trust, poor women from 27 villages have been given 2,000 water filters, household items, and 200 solar lamps. 150 bicycles have also been distributed to poor village women. Since village women need transportation to get to their work and their children’s school for meetings, bicycle distribution has become an ongoing activity. At one function 80 cows were given to poor families. Each of the 80 ladies who received a cow also received a sari.