Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wretchedness... being in desperate straits, locked up in prison, usually in terrible conditions, away from friends and family, tagged a criminal forever, no hope to look forward to, and...not even having a decent sari to cover yourself with.

Please read on about a good deed that needs to be done.

A friend of mine, Uma, is collecting funds for women prisoners in the Vigilance Cell (Chennai), who are in dire need of clothes. What they have currently is completely tattered and beyond repair. There are around 100 women and each require 5.15 mts for a sari. Even if she buys the cheapest of cottons, it will amount to Rs.15,500/-

She is looking for help in the form of good samaritans who would be willing to donate for the cause. Donating old clothes will not help, since these women are allowed to wear only a specific type of sari.

This is being co managed by Relief Foundation, an organisation that works primarily in the area of criminal systems and juvenile delinquency.

Naturally, one would ask, why should individual citizens chip in to provide uniform material for prisoners. Isnt this something the government needs to look into? However I believe their condition is indeed very wretched, and government aid is slow in coming, by which time, they may have very little stuff wearable left.

Those who feel it is a worthy cause, please contact Uma for further information at : Uma doesnt belong to the Relief Foundation, and this is not one of their long-term programmes, I gather, but she is acting as a volunteer and helping out on this project. She will be buying the saris herself, and I can assure you that every penny will be usefully spent.

Cheques need to be made in the name of 'Relief Foundation' and sent them to Relief Foundation, B-6/2, 11th Cross Street, Besant Nagar, Raghu Block, Besant Nagar, Chennai. Ph:044-52150706.

Please do mention specifically the cause that you are donating for, and also include your mailing address so that you can get a receipt for tax rebate. Details are also available on their site for online donations. Again, please do try and drop Uma a line if you choose this option, so that she can keep track.

Even if you are unable to contribute, you could help by spreading the word. Thank you.