Our partner Sabuj Sangha who operates in the West Bengal area runs the Nayantara project. This program was created to provide back up help for a group of girls between 12 to 18 years of age to support them in continuing their education. Asha Zurich gives assistance for 20 of the 40 girls in the couching centre. Their studies are emphasized on English, Mathematics, PE, and Science. Moreover the girls are provided with nutritional, medical, and life skills support, learning materials, school uniforms, books, and hygiene materials (sanitary pads).
The region of Sundarbans where the project takes place consists of low fertile soil making it difficult for local people to maintain a steady income. The children are often labourers and lack education, which makes them very exposed to trafficking - common issue in this area. The case is worse with girls who are generally deprived of their basic needs. They are engaged in work and often are the victims of early child marriage. Asha Zurich has been involved in The Nayantara since October 2017 when the first instalment was sent. For the few months that have passed there has been an obvious improvement in the overall mood of the children. They are now actively participating in celebrations and in exhibitions of their own created arts and crafts.
Our team has visited the project in the beginning of 2018 and brought some of their creations to be presented and sold in Asha’s events through the year. The money from the profits will go into personalized bank accounts to be used after the girls become 18 years of age.