Welcome to Sambhali's website


Sambhali Trust is now working in the local villages of the rural Thar desert area 100km west of Jodhpur near Setrawa where Sambhali already has a Primary Education Centre.

People in these communities are very poor, live in basic huts, maybe 5 or 6 in one family, without electricity, needing to fetch water from a well and living a hand-to-mouth existence. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, and the lockdown which began in India on 25 March, these villagers have been without an income since the quarries closed down where they were working as labourers. There are also widows and widowers, elderly and vulnerable people all needing help.

Sambhali is working with the local village leaders and government administration to provide food kits and soap to these families. We have the help of between 7-13 volunteers and 4 local drivers who have all worked together to purchase and deliver supplies to these villagers who live in the sparse areas, amongst the sand dunes in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees C every day. We were initially asked to help 22 families, with food and basic supplies which soon turned into 200 families and now currently stands at helping 450 families, working in 11 villages and hamlets near to Setrawa. Each family is provided with groceries including flour, rice, oil, pulses, tea, sugar, spices, jaggery and soap. Food kits are provided every 15 days.

As in the attached pie chart to date 2160 ration kits have been supplied to 544 families in total from 22 March until 30 May. These have been to 11 villages in the Dechu Tehsil District. 1143 families have been surveyed and have been provided with basic hygiene information and soaps and over 250 connected to a Whatsapp group for further up to date correct information.

Since 18 May there has been an ease of restrictions and labourers have been able to return to work. We have done a recent survey and out of 453 families being provided with rations:

324 families work as labourers in the local stone quarries
32 families/those living alone have pensions
34 families/those living alone have another form of support
17 families work as Iron sheet workers locally
46 families work in agricultural jobs

All those above now have access to earning an income and so the 7th and last round of rations has been distributed. 22 families are still totally dependent on Sambhali Trust providing them with food supplies. These families will be distributed food once a month for approximately 6 months and possibly longer until we are sure that government help will be in place.

As of 31 May - $US 24,372 has been spent on food rations in Dechu Tehsil district (including $US874 in Jodhpur).
We established a Milaap Crowdfunding site earlier this year to support the education of the children in these rural villages. Now we are helping to feed the families of these same children and many others. Your support has been vital in helping provide basic supplies to these villages. We are very grateful for all your contributions.

Sambhali Trust 14 May 2020

CNN article from June 4, 2020:

Read the report [138 KB] of german volunteer Carin Troll - "Stay at Sambhali" - about her experiences in Setrawa during Corona crisis.
Also check our continuous updates and videos on our facebook page!

The development by 30 May 2020:

All photos by our volunteer © Veronika Goepfert/Switzerland

Sambhali's Projects during Covid-19 pandemic

Following the guidelines from the Rajasthan government, all Sambhali’s centres, boarding homes and both boutiques closed on 14 March 2020.
Our office is now open 11 - 2pm Monday to Saturday until further notice.

India has been in lockdown since 25 March 2020 and is now entering its 5th phase from 8 June. Many easing of the restrictions will take place including the ability to go shopping in malls and eat in restaurants, with social distancing, hygiene measures and wearing of masks mandatory. In containment zones , people will not be allowed to go out except for essential items. These containment zones (red zones) are in most metropolitan cities including Jodhpur.

Schools, colleges and institutions at present are expected to return some time during the month of July but a date hasn't been set yet and is at the discretion of the individual states. Wearing of masks is compulsory in public places, work places and on transport. As the cases are still on the increase in Jodhpur, (there has been a 47% rise in positive cases since 18 May (287 new cases), 200 of which are mainly in the area of Pratap Nagar, where there have been social gatherings taking place and negligence in control of the restrictions. Constant monitoring and discussions will be taking place by the Rajasthan government during June as to when schools and colleges can open at some point in July.

Sambhali Trust is an NGO focused on the development and empowerment of marginalized women and girls in Rajasthan. We work throughout Jodhpur and the surrounding Thar desert with women and children experiencing discrimination and violence on a daily basis due to economic, gender, and caste status. These women face extreme poverty and social exclusion - deprived of education, health care, and legal resources. Many lack any autonomy in their domestic lives, and face severe verbal, physical, and sexual abuse within their communities. At Sambhali, we equip underprivileged women with the tools to become financially independent, provide for their children, and establish self-sustaining communities of support.

Our mission
In Hindi, Sambhali means "strengthening of the deprived." We believe in a grassroots model for lasting, community-driven empowerment fostering dignity and self-confidence, encouraging deprived Rajasthani women to reclaim their worth.

Our work
We aim to break this cycle of poverty and dependence by providing vocational training in our sewing centers. We teach women valuable marketable skills to earn a living on their own. In our Empowerment Centres, we provide underprivileged women Rajasthani women and girls an education in English, Hindi, and Maths. Through our Scholarship Project and boarding homes, we sponsor children from poverty-stricken families to continue going to school. We provide counseling, health, and legal support when women are abused, abandoned, and blackmailed. Most importantly, we provide a space that is safe and free of discrimination, to uplift the hearts and voices of deprived Rajasthani women and nurture lasting networks of support.

Our Impact
9 Empowerment Centres
2 Boarding Homes
10,000 women and children reached
300 Sewing Centre graduates
265 Scholarship Project students
824 Nirbhaya Helpline Cases

Mrs. Shyama Tanwar, general secretary:
“When women come here, they are often very weak. They have been suffering financially and socially for a very long time, and feel very alone. When they arrive, they meet other women with similar struggles, and realise they are not alone in this. This is the first step to building confidence: having a community that is supportive and understanding. They start learning to sew, and when they improve they come to the graduate sewing center. There they are able to start making money, slowly becoming financially independent so that when they leave they feel empowered to continue earning their own livelihoods. These women learn English, Hindi, Math, and workshops including human rights, women’s health, economy, and more. They feel they have access to knowledge they were deprived from for so long, and this nurtures dignity. They are better able to provide for and teach their children, to nurture the next generation to be confident and powerful. And all of this happens in a safe and uplifting community of other women, that endures long after they leave Sambhali’s walls.”

At Sambhali, we follow three primary goals centered around self-confidence:
1. Building networks of lasting community support.
2. Promoting social and financial independence through training in valuable marketable skills.
3. Nurturing self-worth and strengthened future generations through education.

We are investing in current and future generations, to launch a community-driven ripple such that those waves of empowerment continue to spread throughout our community.