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.
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.
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 rather than rented; belongs to her in-laws, 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.
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.