Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why choose Milaap?

    After I started the campaign for Ex-devadasis joining and spreading word for Milaap, so we can say I have become a face for Milaap in my community. So I decided to study the website a lot and how does Milaap works and found their policies to be in place and very rigorous and I say so because when I tried to read the policy of how to become a field partner was so exhaustive but I think very important and crucial to create the trust between Milaap and the partner. You can read the policy here.
    About the team:But how does it actually works.Milaap have its own team and people working with Milaap are very passionate people who are not working just because they want to earn money but because they care about the social cause and they are passionate young people who have heard about the initiative and joined in to help to bring the change. If you want to know them you can visit You can write to them and I am sure they will reply you back promptly. And not just that I have read all this on their website but after joining hands with them for the campaign, they have contacted me several times and whenever they have contacted me I have never felt that they are doing it for transactional purpose, I have always felt like they are my friends and trying to help me understand how it works. So personally it is not just about what the company is but the representatives are also very helpful people, and at least whatever conversation I had with them, I found them to be very genuine.
    About the partners and how they work:Then they have multiple grass root level field-partners.Milaap identifies and partners credible, proven non-profit organizations and social businesses with a range of organizational types including microfinance organizations, vocational training institutes, artisan supply chains, schools to name a few.1 And the field-partners collect the information from the borrowers and their credibility and it becomes their responsibility to give details to Milaap about the borrowers and when the money is received from Milaap they are the one responsible for distributing it and then following up and helping the borrowers and you know what is most interesting the 100% of the contributions you make go towards helping the borrowers. And to ensure that money which have you lended is not misused or to eradicate the chance of mishandling or using it for wrong purpose the field partners ensure that they don't handover the cash or the entire money to borrowers, instead the organizations on field will construct a toilet, build a water connection and my case( give them the raw materials to start a Garam Masala powder business rather than giving them the capital.2
    Trust and transparency:And Milaap also promises that lenders will be provided time to time update from the field, which they do through blogs and emails; here the Milaap fellows update us about the contribution we made and how it's impacting the lives and business of our borrowers. Besides that, whenever you are free and would like to visit your borrower to see the impact, you should go and make a visit to the field. Milaap have slots every month for our community to visit the field. So if you would like to visit them, let them know in advance and they can arrange a field trip with the borrowers.
    Milaap team also have a team which takes photos and make videos and they have collected many testimonies from the field so that we can know that our money have truly reached people and we can listen to their stories and I will be waiting for the story of my borrower ;-). They have collected various different videos from various different projects from past and present and they have also interviewed partners and their volunteers. You can take a look at all of them from the following link.

So once again I invite you to join me for the campaign @ :

2. Received my answers from Milaap team through e-mail

Friday, February 7, 2014

Help! Ex-Devadasis

    Imagine yourself being a slave in a free country, sounds scary, isn't it? Now imagine not just being a slave but a forced sex slave from the age of 5 or 6. Imagine when due to wrong practices and misleading myths you have been forced to become a sex slave under the title of temple prostitute. Imagine taking the name of god and doing worst possible things, not allowing a person to live freely, forcing her to become a sex-worker just for some money and our corrupted practices of past. I was literally in tears and my heart is grieved to see the video.1

The Problem:    You must be thinking its past which I talk about, or mystic land where this practices take place but don't be surprise its in India(Kappalguddi, Karnataka, India) and still this practice is going on. Yes the tradition where this women are called Devadasi,2 (meaning: ‘servant of God’) system involved dedicating a girl, as young as 5-6 years of age, to the temple Goddess. This meant that she would spend her entire life serving the temple and was not allowed to marry anyone else. The system was abused by the rich and the powerful who began to force the young Devadasis to sleep with them.Over the years, the Devadasis were reduced to being incorrectly termed 'temple prostitutes'. This merciless practice, though illegal and outlawed, still exists in certain small towns of India and its stigma continues to cling to the women who attempt an escape. Because of the social stigma around their roles, employment opportunities are denied to them. It is a vicious cycle where future generations too, are drawn into this ruthless system3. I am sure many of us are not even aware of such practices and even though its illegal its still going on, you want to know why?
    Logic is simple, do you remember the old hindi line which says “Kalank kajal se kali”  (blemish is more blank than collyrium) which indicates or really means that once you are blemish in the society you cannot walk with dignity. Imagine everyone calling you names “whore” ,“slut”, “prostitute” and they even don't know they didn't chose to be their and they didn't want to be there but we leave no option for them. Either they die or they choose to remain in the same trade. They don't want to beg. We all dislike beggars and we always complain, “why can't they work?” They can't work because no one in the society want to give work to them. Remember old slave story of America when the law was passed and slavery was illegal, now suddenly there was freedom and they didn't knew what to do and how to do? So many of them continued to serve their master’s willingly.But few who fought and struggled hard to make their position in the society. So its not very different story here, there are group of women who are no longer Devadasis but they are struggling with the society, with the financial struggle to support them and their family, their many objective now remains to stop and abolish this practice and give a better future to the next generation. They are like helpless birds trapped in a prison. Even animal right activist don't allow to treat animals like the way human are treated by our society.

Change:    But what if I want to say there are few changes, what if I say the birds inside the cage are restless to come out now, what if I say they want to live in dignity they want to spread awareness that same should not be repeated with someone else. What it they are courageous enough to take a stand, will you stand beside them. What if I say they just need ordinary people like you and me to help them. What if I say with a small help they can become independent.As they don't get jobs and ill-treated by the rich, many of them want to become self-employed and want to work with their own hands also teach others and help other who are still in the same trade and want to bring the change in society.They want to become enterpreneur and they are not only thinking about themselves but for other similar women who are trapped in viscous cycle they need a small help to break through. They want the same dignity as we have. They are also fellow humans like us, they also want to live an independent and a happy life. They are eager to help others because who else will know the pain better than them, they have experienced it for years. They know the pain and they want to change it. All the need a chance. We all make mistakes and look for a chance to change but here they made no mistakes but they are asking for a chance for the mistake we made. For justice to be done with them they are eager to change this. Will you help them?

Act/Help:     Lets be practical now. What can we do? The need is certainly vast. But what if I say lets help people and group one at a time.Lets take small steps to begin with. And as I said they want to start new business they need help financially, now you will think they are asking for donation and we don't have money to donate because we have so many things to do and we earn very less but its not donation but its lending money. Yes, you can give loan to the group of people who want to start a new business on their own and after certain period of time you will get back your money which you can pay it forward. And guess what its like you don't have to give a large chunk of money but you can begin as small as Rs.500(what a cost of two movie tickets/ a good dinner at your favorite restaurant). Trust me if we share our resources in right way and it reaches the right person who is impacting others, this world will become better place to stay. Think your help will change and touch so many lives. There will be so many employment opportunity because of this help. You will be helping group of people to get back their dignity, to get back their life at their terms freely and they can live like us. And they will be really thankful for your help and I am sure they will be encouraged to help others. And your kindness will reach miles and miles away.
There are plenty of reasons why you should give, if you want to refresh you memory and looking for reasons read this.4

For donation lending money join me on: You can make payments using your Credit/Debit cards, Netbanking.

Disclaimer: All images are copied from the Internet via Google Images


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