Friday, May 31, 2013

Final report- Gina Khalaf- SVCT International Intern

Final report- Gina Khalaf
During my internship with SVCT, I had the chance to participate in many different activities. Through my work, I helped the families of inmates and promoted cancer awareness, while learning about the particular situation of prisoners and patients in India.

1)    Interaction with the inmates’ families

During the 6 weeks spent with the NGO, I had the chance to meet several families of inmates. I asked them questions, with the help of a translator, and took case studies. I also got to visit 3 families in their homes, enabling me not only to interact with them in a familiar setting, but also to see with my own eyes the conditions in which they live. These interactions allowed me to understand the situation of the families left alone to survive, often neglected by their friends and family, and showed the important role SVCT plays in helping the children.

2)    Distribution of school bags, stationary items and clothes to the children of inmates

Almost every day, the family of inmates came to collect items for their children’s education. The NGO offers them school bags, pens and other stationary items, as well as clothes. I participated in the distribution of the given items. 

3)    Participation in an internship summit

During my first week at the NGO, I was invited to an internship summit at SGTB Khalsa, Delhi University. There, I informed and counseled students about the work that SVCT does and encouraged them to join the NGO. I also participated in the interviews of the students wanting to become interns.

4)    Taking part in the making of a documentary about the NGO

I helped make a documentary about the NGO alongside a film director from Bombay. Not only was I helping behind the scenes, but I was also asked to learn a script and was placed in front of the camera to talk about my experience with the NGO.

5)    Making a documentary about cancer awareness

I worked on a documentary about cancer awareness in India with students from the Lingeya Institute of Mass Communication. I helped interview patients and doctors, and brought forward some ideas concerning the film, helping with the script and the concept of the documentary.

6)    Visiting Metro Hospital

I spent 2 days in Metro Hospital, where I interviewed cancer patients as well as doctors in order to help film the documentary about cancer awareness. Dr Puneet Sharma, an oncologist, gave us a lot of advice for the movie and explained the difficulties that patients in India face concerning cancer prevention. Dr Amit Mittal enabled me to better understand the Indian health-care system and explained the way doctors in India attempt to promote cancer prevention.

7)    Participation in another NGO program

I went to the Backward Patron Society, another local NGO, where I participated in several activities:

A)    Breast and cervical cancer awareness

I gave a PPT presentation on breast and cervical cancer to a group of about 35 women. I taught them about the diseases and explained how they could be detected at an early stage and why they should be.

B)    English course

I taught a group of 20 young students how to have a basic conversation in English. They all learnt how to present themselves adequately in English, while I corrected any pronunciation or grammatical errors.

C)     Beauty class

I assisted in a beautician class, learning how to apply a facial mask.

D)    Arts and Crafts

I participated in an arts and crafts class, where women make different objects out of fabric.

E)     Mehendi class

I watched how Indian women make creative mehendi patterns.

Gina Khalaf
University of Montreal, Canada
9th May 2013


From China to SVCT

This summer is destined to be different!
Flew from China, I landed in India and started my internship with SVCT, which is a NGO working on human touch, catch the cancer and chance for change programs.
First of all, the introduction of these three programs:
Human touch:
The children of inmates suffer for want of education, books and medical attention as usually their earning parents are in jail and they also become stigmatic. Therefore, we at SVCT feel that it is our moral duty to try, help out and support as many families as possible. These innocent children have done nothing wrong and deserve a chance to build their bright future like all other children. They should not pay for the mistakes of their parents. By helping these children, we will help to build a better society. We help them by paying for their school fee ,  giving them the school stuff such as school bag, books and pens. If there is a need, we will pay more for improving their life standard.
Catch the cancer:
Cancer is the most rapidly growing disease in India and is now reaching epidemic proportions. The largest segment affected by cancer is Breast and Uterus cancer in women and Mouth and Throat cancer in men. These happen to be amongst the most ignored symptoms of illness as there is very little or no awareness about them in people and especially in the urban poor area. We at SVCT feel that if detected in time, these can be easily treated. Our vision at SVCT is to help spread awareness and help detect these problems in as many people as possible. We spread these awareness by going to the poor area and showing the PPT , giving them the cancer booklets and giving speeches. Also, we organize some free cancer camp check from time to time in undeveloped area.
Chance for change
All people who are convicted are not per say criminals. They are more often victims of circumstances. They too were normal citizens who made a mistake and ultimately they too will join mainstream society  and therefore they should be given a chance to change. We at SVCT strongly believe that human beings are not bad but circumstances make them different from other people.
Therefore, SVCT is trying to help these people better life hence providing chance for change. We help them by providing the trainings and help them find suitable jobs. Also lead them to build self-confidence.
To briefly introduce my work at SVCT:
Firstly, I’d like to share my working experience in SVCT about the program of Catch the cancer.  I helped the SVCT spread cancer awareness in less-developed area. We focused on the women’s cancers such as breast cancer (Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast) and cervical cancer (Cervical cancer is malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri or cervical area.). Through showing the PPTs, we spread the knowledge of what is this kind of cancer, how to do some self-checks, how to prevent from catching these cancer and so on.
Secondly, it is about the job of human catch and the chance for change. These two programs are relevant to the people who are sent into jail and their families. I did some records of the prisoner’s families while they talking about the stories and the families difficulties they faced. Also, I did some visiting to some prisoner’s families, and gave some school stuff to them.
This substantial experience with SVCT gave me a lot of learning, which can be point out as below: I got to know how the NGO works in India, and also the difficulties the face such as the finance. I feel so pleased when I was spreading the awareness of cancers and happy to see that those women got some knowledge of the cancers so that the rate of getting of this cancer will be decreased.  By visiting the prisoner’s families I knew that they need the second chance badly, at the same time, their innocence families especially their children need us help to build a bright future.
I am very thankful for the one-month internship with SVCT and feel very honored working with this team.
I would like to give my greatly thank you to Mr. A. K.Passy for providing me the chance to work with SVCT and lending his great support.
I would even like to thank all the staff in SVCT for helping me and giving me the support.

10th May 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Speech of Manu Sharma, Read by Dr. Prachi Vashishta

Dear friends,


                      “I would like to thank everyone gathered here today to help us in this noble cause and on behalf of all the children who are part of the trust’s family, especially Justice N K Sodhi Ji, Raj Babbar Ji, Jimmy, Yogeshwar , Shilpa,   all my elders present here , esteemed guests,  my  family  and friends for taking out time and coming here for supporting us and the  children.

I have spent 11 years in prison and in these years of incarceration I saw the harsh realities and challenges that life throws at you, I saw the people in jail suffer physically and mentally and felt very sorry for them and for myself.   Bound in a drift less abyss, stagnant I thought to myself that nothing in life could be worse than this, facing another day just like all the others as it comes and just getting by. But all this changed, the day I realized that the people in jail are not the real sufferers, the real sufferers are the children of inmates in jail. What these children go through is many a time worse than what inmates in jail have to go through.

And the reason for it is that, as soon as the bread winner of a family goes to jail, the children’s lives suddenly turn upside down, their eyes start searching for their fathers but soon stop and instead start searching for the next meal as they don’t know where it is going to come from. Their families and friends they so cherished till a day a go, desert them and do not want anything to do with them, the children in the colony refuse to play with them, they are shunned and discarded by all.

In the life of these children, as time passes the name calling and stares of peers stop affecting them, as extreme poverty takes over, Most of these children drop out of school and their lives begin to drift in the wrong direction; Stigma along with poverty makes life very difficult. These are the children we have gathered here to help today.

Over the years I have become something of a voracious reader in prison and have come across thousands of articles and books which talk about the humane treatment of prisoners, their safety, their clothing, eating, hygiene, medical treatment even dignity. We find many charters and declarations of human rights, National & International laws and manuals dedicated to describing the rights of prisoners. But surprisingly I am yet to come across any law, charter, or manual which prescribes or outlines the rights of these children. I found nothing that ensures the basic tenants in life for these children not even like food shelter or education.

One agrees that the People  in jail or  the prisoners, may have made a mistake in their lives or fallen for the  wrong calling in life but what is the fault of these innocent children, they have done nothing wrong , they haven’t harmed any one. As their parents and in some cases both their parents languish in jail they fail to understand their mistake. The irony of the situation is that they will never know their mistake as they have committed none.


These children are the real destitutes of our society and without education these children are destined to a life of doom and will grow up to be bitter not just toward society but with themselves too, which is not good for children or for our future generation. It is our collective responsibility to fend for these children and give them a shot at life; I have pledged to do whatever is in my power to help as many of these children as possible and to make them stand on their feet with their heads held high.

As of date we are helping more than 450 such children but this is just the tip of the iceberg, because in Delhi itself at least two to three thousand more children need such help and this problem is not confined to Delhi alone, it is a pan India problem and we need to take care of all these children where ever they may be, I am pledged to do my best, but I know that I alone cannot do it ,I need the help of all the well-meaning people present here today and many more outside ,I therefore entreat you to please join us in this noble and much needed cause, in whatever way you can, either by donating your time for these children, by buying a paintings, donating study material or uniforms or by adopting one of these beautiful souls, it is up to you, but please do help. I seek your help on behalf of all these children and their parents who are behind bars. So please find place for these children in your lives and hearts, if a difference has to be made in their lives then our effort has to be a sustained, continuous & relentless.

In the words of the children

 “Giving is a beautiful thing, so please give & we shall give you our love our blessing and our hearts”.

In the end I again extend my gratitude to all who have come to extend their support to me & these beautiful children.


Thank you very much,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wings of Hope by SVCT Manu Sharma NGO

Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust Present's
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust Present's Wings of Hope
Distribution of medical insurance policy of ICICI Lombard to
the children being supported by the trust.
Followed by
An Exhibition of Paintings
Made by present and past jail Inmates at
India Islamic Cultural Centre, 87 - 88, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003.
Chief GuestJustice N.K. Sodhi
(Former Chief Justice of Karnataka & Kerala, High Court)
Guest of HonorSh. Raj Babar M.P. (Actor)
Eminent GuestsPadmashree Yogeshawar Dutt, Jimmy Shergill (Actor)
& Shilpa Shukla (Actor)
Will distribute the insurance policies and inaugurate the exhibition onThe 9th of March 2013, at 11.30 AM
Accompanied by a short performance by Sarangi Maestro Kamal Sabri
The exhibition will remain open from 11 am to 8 pm
on 9th and 10th of March, 2013
You are cordially invited
RSVP: 9971796526, 011-45751984
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust
C2/16, 1st Floor, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058, Phone: 011-45751984, 9971796526 E-mail- •