Donate to Pournima

**I am back in the USA and can no longer coordinate donations to Pournima. Thanks to all who contributed!**

Hi friends. You may recall my recent post “Supari”, about the seemingly hopeless situation that a widow, Pournima and her two children are facing. Check it out to learn a little more about Pournima’s situation.

When I left my last interview with Pournima, the day before writing “Supari,” I knew that she wasn’t doing well. The way that she spoke to me about how she was feeling alarmed me. I wanted to find a way to help her work from home. I thought an activity for her to engage in would help take her mind off of the extremely sad things that have happened to her and her family. From the way that she had told me about how she had worked hard and provided for her children before her accident, I knew that working and earning money would give her a sense of accomplishment, something she desperately needed. Not knowing what to do, I decided to give her a notebook and some colored pencils. At least she could draw to take her mind off of things while I gave some more thought to what work she could do from home that didn’t involve too much walking around. A week later, I came back to check up on Pournima. She showed me the notebook; only half of its pages were still blank.

I’m happy to report that Pournima is doing much better. Ajay Dolke, with SRUJAN, found donors to cover the purchase of a sewing machine. Two weeks ago I watched as Pournima’s sewing machine was delivered to her home. Hopefully in a few more weeks her new business will be up and running. When we came up with the idea of getting her a sewing machine, Pournima’s face lit up. While she waited for Ajay and I to return with the machine, she practiced her sewing on a friend’s machine. SRUJAN works on infant health issues and one month after a child is born they have a celebration of life ceremony. SRUJAN gives clothes to the new baby. Pournima is excited to make some of these baby clothes so that SRUJAN can be one of her regular customers!

Pournima learned to sew a long time ago. Looks like the skills stuck!

It’s hard to tell, but this is an adorable baby bonnet that Pournima made.

I’d like to do something more for Pournima though. Right now, with the sewing machine and the lunch she prepares for 6 local college students, she is able to make ends meet every month. Her husband’s debts on his land remain unpaid. Her children’s education costs are only going to increase. And Pournima wants to be able to save up to buy her son a bicycle. Her kids are fantastic and she wants to give them all that they deserve and more.

So here’s the idea:

Pournima and her kids really loved the colored pencils that I brought. I think that their artistic creations would make a lovely set of stationary. I bought Pournima some more paper and colored pencils and she and her kids are excited to keep up the drawing!

What you can buy:


One of Pournima’s first drawings

Pournima’s daughter drew this farming scene. Looks like spraying pesticides is a pretty quintessential part of farming here!

Here’s how the pricing breaks down:

  1. I am covering the minor cost of supplies from my own pocket
  2. The cost of sending a pack of stationary to the US from India is roughly $11 US dollars. It also takes about 3 weeks for a letter to reach the US. In the interest of saving some money and making sure the stationary doesn’t get lost in the mail, I’m going to wait until I get home in December to mail the stationary. That way shipping is only about $1.50.
  3. $10 US dollars is roughly 557 rupees. For $1.00, or 55 rupees, you can get a full plate of delicious food here in India. 557 rupees can go a long way for Pournima and her kids.
  4. $20 US dollars is roughly 1,115 rupees. 1,000 rupees is about 1/3 of the cost of Pournima’s son’s tuition fees for the year.

Pournima plans to use the proceeds from the stationary to cover the costs of her children’s education now and in the future.


Thank you to all who donated and/or purchased stationary! We raised over $500! Pournima was able to use the money for a follow-up procedure for her broken hip and for her son’s tuition. More than anything though, our contributions gave her a great sense of relief and hope. Thank you!

One thought on “Donate to Pournima

  1. Pingback: Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy | A year in India

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