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Devika Varma's Fundraiser:

Help Tribal Women of Sittilingi Achieve Financial Independence

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BENEFITING:

EVENT: Global Running Day Million Kid Run

EVENT DATE: Jun 15, 2016

Devika Varma

THE STORY:

In January 2015, many friends and well-wishers came together with me to raise funds for Tribal Health Initiative and their construction of the first ICU in Sittilingi, a remote village nestled in the forests of South India (where I had a transformative volunteer experience in summer 2014). Just two months ago in March, the structure was completed, and doctors saved the life of their first patient in the ICU! Attached here is a report from the clinic with pictures of the ICU and words shared by the doctors who run this clinic in Sittilingi.

This year, in addition to continuing improvements in healthcare, THI turns its attention to promoting income generation and financial security among women in Sitillingi. It is well established that women are the backbone of a healthy family and their empowerment is crucial in setting up a healthy future for the families and future generations of Sittilingi. However, as in most of rural India, women there are often dependent on men as the sole breadwinners, and denied opportunities for employment/advancement. THI will invest in the following agricultural programs to provide employment and training to tribal women of Sittilingi:

- Tamarind processing and edible oil production

- Development of fuel efficient stoves

- Millet biscuit production

- Goat rearing and animal milching

(Included in pictures are also some of the women I met during my stay in Sittilingi who are leading some of these programs.)

On June 1st — in solidarity with young tribal people who did a 10K in Bangalore to raise funds for THI — I have pledged to run in the Global Running Day and join this fundraising effort to help the women of Sittilingi be financially independent and lead their families towards healthy and sustainable lives. I believe this is an important wave of change that needs to take force sooner than later, and if you feel the same, I invite you to join me on this fundraiser and together we can help make these programs a reality!

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