Friends, I am asking for your support to allow me to continue working on behalf of the most disadvantaged and marginalised people and communities in India. For the past 4 months I have been volunteering full-time for a non-profit human rights organisation in New Delhi. We take free legal cases on behalf of people living in extreme poverty in India, as part of a struggle for systemic change. I have had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of people living in such deplorable conditions that to simply be alive is a privilege. Making a small contribution towards addressing inequalities in the developing world and improving my understanding of human rights law has been incredibly rewarding and will prepare me for a career using the law to fight for change and justice.
My Work involves defending often powerless groups and impoverished people against human rights abuses carried out by a ruthless government which cares only for the wealthy and powerful. I have contributed to many individual cases involving slave labor on tea plantations, lynchings of Dalit (lowest caste) persons, and mass evictions of Delhi’s slums. I am currently working on three long-term projects involving the rights of women, refugees, and the LGBT+ community.
Women in India are frequently victimised and experience untold violence in their daily lives. Through my work I have witnessed the effects of terrible tragedy and abuse including rape, acid attacks, non-consensual sterilisations, and forced marriages. In order to defend this vulnerable community We seek to hold abusers to account and achieve justice through systemic reform. I have assisted in several lawsuits against corrupt police departments which refuse to investigate the gang rapes and subsequent murders of young girls. I edited a report exposing the government practice of rounding-up uneducated young women in rural areas and forcefully sterilising them, in an attempt to limit population growth. I am currently authoring a book calling on the government to improve its protections of women’s rights.
1 million ‘Rohingyas’ have been killed or driven from Mynanmar in what has been termed an ethnic cleansing of the country’s religious and ethnic minority. Many of these refugees have fled to India where they live in slums of mud huts with no electricity or safe water, where disease is rampant, children die of malnutrition, women are raped by local laborers, and men work as slaves to provide minimal food. The government has repeatedly attempted to deport these families to Myanmar where they face certain death, and refuses to allow them to work or attend public schools and hospitals. As part of a major Supreme Court case we visited several camps throughout Northern India, interviewing residents and recording evidence of their living conditions. We have so far prevented their deportation and are now seeking provision of their basic needs.
I have been given a broad mandate to advocate for the rights of India’s LGBT+ community, who suffer great discrimination, harassment, and physical violence. We have secured a landmark Supreme Court decision ordering the government to allow transgender people to self- select their identity on ID cards. I hope to continue achieving significant steps towards equality.
Now I Need Your Help
I had originally planned to stay for 3 months, however through seeing the impact my work can have on the lives of the most vulnerable people, I have decided to stay for (at least) the rest of the year. Unfortunately the NGO operates on a shoe-string budget and cannot afford to pay me and while I managed to save some money by working after graduating college, it will soon run out.
I need your help to continue working on behalf of India’s poor and marginalised people and communities. I invite you to defend the basic rights of people in the developing world and lend a voice to the voiceless by supporting my work and allowing me to continue making a small contribution towards a global movement for justice and human rights. In return for your support I will continue to work hard on behalf of India’s poor and I will keep you frequently updated on the results your donation to my work is achieving.
Best Regards from India,