Sometimes when paths cross, you know it is for a special reason. In March 2014, shortly after we created CallMeSister.com, we met the Executive Director of Sister India. Today we have the pleasure of an interview to talk about this amazing organization!
Call Me Sister: What inspired this focus on India?
Sister India: Because of the extent of the terrible things happening to women and girls in India, Sister India was founded to speak out and to support the work that is making a measurable difference.
Call Me Sister: What are some of the challenges the women of India face that might be impossible for the Call Me Sister community to comprehend?
Sister India: It’s difficult for us to understand the paradox of Indian women. While India has elected women as President and Prime Minister, 47% of Indian girls are given in marriage before 18 – some as young as three to five years old – generally given to older males – meaning child brides face abuse and injury or death from giving birth at a young age. Tradition and culture favor boys. Women are heavily pressured to have boys by sex-selective abortions and the killing of baby girls at birth. Boys are much more likely than girls to receive health care and an education. One in six people live in India. 70% are illiterate with no hope of education.
Call Me Sister: How does Sister India address these challenges?
Sister India: Classes led by Indian teachers. Students receive a year-long education in literacy, math, health, sanitation and business skills. They learn about human dignity and rights as women. Before the class, 41% of students favor child marriage; afterwards only 5% do. There is a similar reduction on child labor and an increase in childhood education for girls. Most importantly, they know for the first time in their lives that they are not worthless and that they have tremendous value in God’s eyes. They have hope for their future.
Call Me Sister: How can we help our sisters in India
Sister India: We are laser focused and ensure that the funds given make a real difference. $25 will sponsor one student for an entire year.
Call Me Sister: It is wonderful to know how we can truly help our sisters in India.
Sister India: Call Me Sister has been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for me personally and for us as an organization. It’s wonderful to have a long-term partner who is beside us in the effort. You are very dear to me and to Sister India!