Spotlight on… Gulshan in India

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In a remote village in India, Gulshan is inspiring her community to demand change.

“I enjoy being a counsellor and getting to work with people in the community. It feels good to use my skills to support people who can’t read or write.”

In rural Chhattisgarh only 51% of people are able to read and write. Poverty levels are very high and families struggle to access enough food throughout the year. Many communities lack the basic facilities that most of us take for granted, such as toilets, clean water and electricity.

Roads between villages and nearby towns are in very poor condition, so that travel between villages is difficult. As a result, these communities have become isolated, and families are left to face the effects of poverty alone.

But, thanks to your support, and the hard work and dedication of women like Gulshan, the situation is improving.

Like many of the women in her village Gulshan is a young mother, but unlike most she has been to both high school and college. She has a detailed understanding of the government services that her community are entitled to, and knows how they can access them.

Gulshan works in a local information centre, which was set up by Find Your Feet. The information centre provides leaflets, magazines and posters on topics such as nutrition, hygiene and childcare.

Champa Village PIC

It also provides villagers with information on the types of support they can ask for from local government. This might include free healthcare, nutritional support for adolescent girls, pensions for the elderly, employment and housing support.

Gulshan spends two days a week at the information centre, where she welcomes people from surrounding villages, talks them through the services available and helps them to fill in application forms. This is vital in a community where many are illiterate.

She supports each individual through the application process from start to finish, ensuring they receive what they are entitled to.

The other three days a week she spends travelling to the poorest and most isolated communities in the area, to tell people about the information centre, and to encourage them to visit.

To date, Gulshan’s information centre has helped 2359 people access at least one government scheme.

Support Gulshan's work by donating now.


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