Dianne Stout’s Annual Trip to Kolkata, November 2012
As a member of SI Dundee she hoped to help Educate, Empower, and Enable. She also wanted to mark the 25th November, United Nations International Day to Stop Violence Against Women.
Dianne was also keen to make an early visit to the shelter at IPER (Institute of Psychological & Educational Research) for girls that are at risk of being abused or had been abused. There are 25 girls staying at the shelter, and she tends to see the same girls each year. They are happy, well adjusted and feel secure. They had great fun opening many of the packets of knickers that Dianne had been given for the girls. (She
had 400 pairs that were shared with other organisations.) Dianne also took English books so that the girls can practice their reading. Dianne spends as much time as possible with the girls as English is still very important in India for anyone wishing to get on in employment. A member of SI Dundee had given Dianne £100.00 to spend, so she also had knitted a warm winter cardigan for each girl in the shelter. With other money from SI Dundee and other friends Dianne was also able to purchase a pair of school shoes for each girl. On the 14th November Dianne enjoyed Children’s Day at IPER and children from both the shelter and the school entertained the adults and themselves for over an hour with songs, dances and plays.
Dr Sujit of IIMC agreed to facilitate the marking of The United Nations International Day to Stop Violence Against Women. In fact Dianne was able to mark the day twice, on Tuesday 20th November at Dhaki (on the Gangees delta a five hour drive from Kolkata) and then again on the 28th November at Sonarpur, the HQ of IIMC in Kolkata. The women from the Peace Councils took an extremely active part, singing, dancing and role play, which they acted out so well. One of the presentations was topical about a women being intimidated by five men on a crowded train. A group of visiting medical students also spoke and did role play about violence in their own countries. In all the role plays everyone spoke in their own language yet everyone present fully understood the message. All attending were given an orange ribbon.
Dianne visited the Free School in Kolkata which is a project of SISK and to which SI Dundee makes regular cash contributions. Dianne also took along educational aids.
International Book Day was marked with the help of SISK. Dianne spoke about Aesop and his fables and Bengali folk tales were read and discussed.
Dianne and her husband Brian again sponsored a day trip taking forty children on a bus to a nature park. Breakfast and lunch were enjoyed and the children played lots of games in the fresh air and open space. In a busy visit Dianne was also able to meet with SI South Kolkata and SI Burdwan. With Sangu (SI Kolkata) Dianne visited the AHEAD Project, a school for autistic and mentally challenged children. The children are all encouraged to reach their individual goals.
Dianne thanks all of SI Dundee and her other friends for their cash, items of clothing and educational aids. This enabled Dianne to make cash contributions to all of the visited projects. Thanks also to SI Kolkata for all of their support and help.
Submitted by Dianne Stout