HOW WE WORK

RESCUE & REVIVAL is not a large organisation. We monitor 135 contiguous villages in the districts of Mansa and Sangrur.

When we come to know of a suicide in any of these villages, we go personally to meet the family and document the case. The suicide cases we take up are those in which debt has driven the victim to take his/her own life. We do not take up cases of suicide motivated by romantic or educational disappointment.

Next we put the case before the panchayat (local council) of the victim's village and ask them to affirm that the case is one of suicide on account of economic distress. They affirm this in an affidavit on government stamp paper which can be submitted to a court.

If the widow, orphans, elderly parents or disabled dependent siblings are eligible for assistance provided by the state government's Department of Social Welfare, we help them to apply for whatever assistance is available. In many cases the persons are illiterate and need help filling and submitting forms. Government offices can be daunting even for educated people.

Once we have documented the case and received the affidavit from the panchayat, we start searching for someone who will adopt the family. We ask donors to commit for a minimum of one year. Each donor is matched up with a family, a bank account is created for the family and the donation is paid directly into the family's account. The bank is instructed to release not more than three month's subsistence amount in a 90-day period. This safeguards the family from possible pressure from greedy creditors. The monthly subsistence amount is enough to ensure that the family does not go hungry.

An annual donation of Rs 15,600 supports a family of one or two children.

An annual donation of Rs 23,400 supports a family of three or more children.

    Immediate assistance has two purposes:
  • To keep children in school so that they will be able to earn one day,
  • To keep others in the family from falling to the temptation to commit suicide themselves

There is a string attached: receiving the subsistence amount is contingent upon the children of the family remaining in school. We remain in touch with all the village schools to ensure that the children are studying. Assistance stops when the children complete Class 12. If they are able and inclined go on to college Rescue and Revival provides full scholarship.

Through print, broadcast and social media we reach out to make the public aware of the extreme economic distress that affects our villages. We help journalists, film-makers and academic researchers who want to see the rural situation for themselves. We write articles and make short videos to spread awareness.

RESCUE & REVIVAL has fought four major legal cases up to the level of the state High Court for the purpose of getting relief and rehabilitation for the next of kin of rural suicide victims.

WHY RESCUE AND REVIVAL IS NEEDED

When a family loses its breadwinner, income is the immediate need. The family feels compelled to pull the children out of school and put them to work anywhere -- even if the child's daily wage is only a few rupees. Lacking even a school-level education, the child is condemned to a lifetime of starvation-wage labour

Frequency of rural suicide is NOT declining. It is rising alarmingly. The best way to get families on their feet again is to see to it that the children of the family become employable. This means staying in school and beyond that, getting a college degree or vocational training.

As on December 31, 2019
VILLAGES BENEFICIARY FAMILIES ALL FAMILY MEMBERS CHILDREN STUDYING
135 547 1292 825

Suicide cases 1990 to 2019 2989

SPECIAL ASSISTANCE

The monthly subsistence provides a bare minimum needed to keep a family going. For other needs we arrange special assistance. Because needs may vary from family to family we categorise our efforts to meet these other needs as "special assistance". Here are some examples:

  • Quilts and warm clothing
  • Toward medical expenses
  • Toward fees for vocational courses

Baba Nanak Educational Society 643, Sector 11-B Chandigarh-160011

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