Lohri of Hope raises £25,000!

Lohri of Hope raises £25,000!

 

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On Saturday 24th January 500 people came together at CSN in Birmingham to celebrate Lohri of Hope. A charity ball in aid of Unique Home organised by Snob Events & UK Friends of Unique Home.

 

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The event was a huge success with guests enjoying a sparkling drinks reception, four course meal and impressive entertainment from DJ Dipps Bhamrah from BBC Asian Network, DJ Nav, a live set by JK, Giddha Sansaar, Eternal Taal and Vasda Punjab. The star of the evening was Sukshinder Shinda who performed his hits with a live band. The event was hosted by Unique Home supporter Harjap Bhangal . The auction was particularly entertaining with the highest bid going for a signed Pele top for £5,000!

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One of the organisers and Trustee for UK Friends of Unique Home Harinder Singh said ‘We are delighted with the amount we have raised this evening and the awareness we have raised for the work of Unique Home. We are grateful to all our sponsors, supporters and guests for contributing to the success of the event!’

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Parvy Rakar, founder & director Snob Events said ‘Our guests enjoyed an authentic Punjabi Lohri – the food, décor, favours and ambience we worked so hard to create took our guests back to Punjab where Lohri is celebrated with huge fan fare. We wanted to celebrate our daughters and show that there is equality for both sexes.’

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If you would like to make a donation you can do so using  https://www.justgiving.com/LohriOfHope/

 

To learn more about Unique Home go to http://www.uniquehomeforgirls.co.uk

 

 

 

“Oh No, not another charity event!” Sharan Ghuman

Unknown

 

“Oh No, not another charity event” I hear you cry! Many of you may have seen the posters for our LOHRI of Hope Dinner and Dance and thought ” I just can’t be bothered”.

We would like to take just a few minutes of your time to explain why these events are so very important to us.
Of course all charities have an objective to raise funds for their chosen cause. We are not going to insult your intelligence by telling you that this is not our primary aim too. Of course it is. I think it would be pertinent to explain just why these funds are so important?
Issues relating to female infanticide are still prevalent across the world, especially more so in our motherland, India, where giving birth to sons is still favoured over bearing a daughter. Many girls are killed in the womb the minute their identity is established.  274 girls are killed in utero in Punjab alone every day. ( Source: The Missing Girls 2011). If she does manage to survive the 9 months inside the womb, the minute she enters the world she is discarded like a piece of rubbish. This is where organisations like Unique Home are pivotal. Bibi Parkash Kaur ensures that no newborn baby girl or infant is left on the streets to perish. Whether they are rescued from rubbish bins or their parents simply leave them in the homes cradle, these abandoned Angels are guaranteed a safe haven. Unique home is that refuge, where they are fed, clothed, educated but above all, where they are given unconditional love.
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Bringing up a child is by no means an easy feat. Clothing,education,medical fees all add up and with no assistance from local government, survival on a daily basis is a great struggle.
This is where support from us is vital. Every single girl deserves a chance at life. Luckily for these girls, love is something they will never lack under the shelter of the wonderful bibi Parkash Kaur but to ensure a bright future, financial aid is imperative.
UK Friends of Unique home, its founders, trustees and volunteers have worked hard for the last few years to raise awareness of the home and have been involved in a vast array of charity events to raise these much needed funds for Unique home. The money raised by UK residents over the last few years as enabled a brand new home to be built from scratch, which the girls will hopefully be moving into later this year.
As a charity we think very carefully about the kind of events we want to put our name to. Many of our events centre around the themes of equality for  girls. From cultural gidda events, where being a woman is celebrated to our upcoming event, A Lohri of Hope, we are trying to change the mindset of our communities and trying to get the message across, our daughters are just as important as our sons.
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Sunday 24th January 2015, UK friends of Unique home will host one of the first celebrations of its kind, a LOHRI for girls. “But Lohri is only celebrated if you have a boy isn’t it?”
“This is wrong. This is not our tradition, why are we celebrating LOHRI for girls?” These are some of the comments we have heard. We ask WHY?
WHY should the birth of our daughters not be celebrated?
Why are mothers who have given birth to princesses made to feel inadequate?
This is why we have decided to hold a family dinner and Dance in the hope we can change this custom which we firmly believe is so very wrong. It’s our
 #LOHRIOFHOPE

The hope for equality between daughter and son
A hope that will be so very alien to some.

The hope to make a change to customs old
A Hope to dare to be so bold?

The hope to celebrate her with laughter and joy
A hope that she is equal to any boy.

The celebration of Lohri is not only for boys,
Give our daughters a chance to experience the joys.

24th Jan, don’t sit and mope
Make a difference and join us for
The Lohri of Hope!

We hope to welcome you and your families on Saturday 24th January in Birmingham!

We promise you a fun filled evening, with performances from the UKs most renowned artists, such as Sukshinder Shinda and JK. There will be performances by Vasda Punjab, Eternal Taal, And world class entertainment by DJ NAV and DJ Dipps Bhamrah. The entire event is being co ordinated by Snob Events, Parvy Rakar, wedding planner of the Year.

You will be treated to a four course meal to ensure you have all the energy needed for dancing the night away. There will be fabulous prizes up for grabs in our raffle as well as absolutely fabulous items in our Auction. Will Harjap Bhangal and Jag Chima be pointing at you when they bring down the hammer and shout “SOLD”.

Yes, we can most definitely promise you an enchanting fun evening, but the best part? You would have had all this fun but you will know you have made a difference to a little girls life. All the profits from this event will be going directly to India to ensure a better future for the Unique Angels.

Support us

Make a change

Make a difference!

LOHRI OF HOPE FOR UNIQUE HOME

 

Unknown

A Lohri Of Hope

The hope for equality between daughter and son
A hope that will be so very alien to some.

The hope to make a change to customs old
A Hope to dare to be so bold?

The hope to celebrate her with laughter and joy
A hope that she is equal to any boy.

The celebration of Lohri is not only for boys,
Give our daughters a chance to experience the joys.

24th Jan, don’t sit and mope
Make a difference and join us for
The Lohri of Hope!

We hope to welcome you and your families on Saturday 24th January in Birmingham! #LOHRIOFHOPE

UNIQUE

“UNIQUE”

Was it wrong you gave me away?
Did you ever want me to stay?

I was a girl, was that why,
You left my side with a sigh?

I can’t even remember the touch of your hand.
But you had your reasons, I understand.

You placed me in the cradle and turned away,
Never again a word to say.

I don’t know who and where you are,
It may even be you in that car.

I often think of the life I may have had,
It brings me to tears and makes me sad.

But sad and bitter, I do not remain,
You did me a favour when you left me in the rain.

I gained the love of a wonderful other,
The one I’m so proud to call my mother.

She showered me with love from day one,
In a second my heart was won.

Her lessons of chivalry I’ve cherished so dear.
She moulded my heart to love with no fear.

Her lullaby songs always comforted me to sleep,
Banished all the monsters from memories deep.

I’m happy that God kept me alive,
Gave me sisters so I could strive.

My beautiful sisters completed my life,
Always United in moments of strife.

I flourished in a Unique happy home full of laughter,
Where sadness was never ever sought after.

Being born a girl is not so bad,
I know I’m just as capable as any lad.

I’m skilled and educated and talented too,
These are not the dreams I had from you.

Bibi Prakash Kaur, my saviour mother,
Made be believe in myself like no other.

Thank you will never be enough to express how I feel,
To the wonderful woman who helped me heal.

Bibi Prakash Kaur my angel from heaven,
At your feet is my garden of Eden.

 

Sharan Ghuman – Trustee UK Friends Of Unique Home

News Update 2014

News Update 2014

 

It’s been a busy year for us! So busy in fact we have not managed to update this website as much as we would have liked! Please understand that all of us involved in UK Friends of Unique are volunteers and we carry out our duties as Trustees on top of busy work and family lives.

 

This year we have been involved in a few things.

 

Awareness for us and Unique Home is growing – we past the 10,000 likes on Facebook which is a HUGE milestone! Please do like our page if you haven’t already!

 

We carried out a successful social media campaign on the girls birthdays this year by asking our supporters to join in the celebrations by posting a photo of them with cake! We asked everyone to make a wish on behalf of the girls. Our co-founder Tom Harrigan MBE was guest of honour at the celebrations in India and thoroughly enjoyed himself!

 

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We have been involved in two ladies Giddha events – an afternoon of traditional Punjabi folk dancing for women. One event was in the South and the other in Birmingham. Both were well attended and raised circa £4,000.

 

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In addition to Tom’s visit, two of our other trustees visited Unique Home this year. Rupinder & Harinder visited in September. The new build is progressing very well. Bibi Ji and Trustee Satnam Singh send their heartfelt gratitude and well wishes to all supporters!

 

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Looking forward to 2015 we are actively involved in planning another Dinner & Dance in West Midlands. Saturday 24th January 2015 is the date, Regency Suite, Halgley Road, Birmingham is the venue. The theme is ‘Lohri For Her’ we will be celebrating our daughters and this festival in a very Punjabi way! All welcome!

There is also a Tartan & Turban Event in Glasgow in January 2015- we are one of the chosen charities!

 

Thank you for all your support this year!

 

Rupinder Kaur

 

Nita Ambani expresses reverence towards Parkash Kaur, founder – Unique Home for girls, Jalandhar

Her philanthropic endeavours are in-famous tales of social benevolence and humanitarian being, and once again Nita Ambani has shown that her support for the betterment of society

Mumbai, Maharashtra, February 24, 2012 /India PRwire/ — Her philanthropic endeavours are in-famous tales of social benevolence and humanitarian being, and once again Nita Ambani has shown that her support for the betterment of society, its people and those who strive to make a difference in the community is a never-ending quest and a life-long purpose. Visiting Unique Home, a home for destitute girls in Jalandhar, Nita Ambani was touched by the greatness, the efforts and the work done by its founder ParkashKaur, whom she now reverentially refers to as the ‘mother of 57 girls’.

ParkashKaur, a simple lady of strong virtues and courage, has been running the home for destitute girls for more than 20 years now.Ever since institution of Unique Home in 1991, ParkashKaur has taken in girls who have been abandoned and has looked after their well -being and rearing as her own daughters. Having been an abandoned girl child herself, ParkashKaur understands the plight and helplessness of young girls, and hence she has dedicated her life to the difficult yet noble mission of rescuing unclaimed new-born girls and abandoned girls, and giving them a secure home and future.Nita Ambani had previously met Parkash when the latter was being conferred with an award at Real Heroes Award function organised by CNN IBN for her humanitarian deeds, in Mumbai last year. Intrigued and inspired by the courage of this brave woman, Nita decided to pay a visit to the home on Thursday. “After coming here, I am not only touched but feel humbled by the simplicity and genuineness of ParkashKaur, who runs this home with the help of philanthropists in India and abroad”, exclaimed the first lady of corporate India.

Unique Home has two set ups and Nita Ambani visited both the set ups. She spent time with all 57 girls at the shelter, interacting and chatting amicably with them. The girls presented two dance numbers for their guest and even took her to the stage for a little Dandia.

Movedby the warmth and love she received from the girls at Unique Home, Nita Ambani fell short of words and remarked that she has been deeply touched and impressed by the confidence ParkashKaur has been able to bestow in every girl. “She is a lamp of hope and a real hero, and coming here has been a great experience,” she said.

Notes to Editor

Nita Ambani is the Founder-Chairperson of the Dhirubhai Ambani International School. She is also the wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

Source/Permanent Link: http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/other/20120224113011.htm

Unique Home Charity Dinner & Dance 2nd Nov

Dear Family & Friends,

As you are aware Harinder & I are Trustees for UK Friends of Unique Home. A UK based charity that supports Unique Home in Jalandhar. The Home takes in unwanted abandoned girls regardless of their religion or creed and helps them have the life that was denied to them by their parents.

We visited the home in April and the work they do is simply amazing. Bibi Parkash Kaur, the founder of the Home who herself was abandoned, is a ray of hope in Punjab.  Rather shockingly, it is Punjab which currently has the highest rate of female foeticide and infanticide.

We are committed to raising as much awareness and funds for them as we can and to do this we have organised a Dinner & Dance in Wolverhampton on Saturday 2nd November. All details are attached on the eflyer. This is to be a family event to be enjoyed from the eldest to the youngest!

Everyone involved in the event have volunteered their time and services including Lembher Hussainpuri who has waived his fee. We decided to hold this event in Midlands because of a huge amount of personal support and also because of the large Punjabi population there. It is so important to bring the work of Unique Home to the attention of those that visit Punjab often as we want them to go and see for themselves what Bibi ji and Unique Home are doing.

The timing of our event is on Bhandi Chorr Diwas & Diwali weekend. At a time when Sikhs & Hindus celebrate the triumph of good over evil, please join us to help those that are tackling the current evil of abandoning girls for no reason other than their gender.

If you haven’t already please confirm how many tickets you would like. Where possible we are trying to sell tables of 10 to one individual who is then responsible for filling that table…makes our lives that little bit easier! But if you’d like a couple of tickets that is fine too! Tickets are £35, including a champagne reception,  full sit down meal, entertainment, auction & raffle!

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 2nd.

Kind regards,
Rupinder & Harinder

PS: Please do forward this email to anyone you think maybe interested in attending and also any businesses that want to get involved in sponsoring the event!

UK

Mother Hope: Prakash Kaur and her Unique Home for Girls

Source

The woman behind the home is Prakash Kaur, who was herself left on the streets as a baby 60 years ago. Since 1993, she has dedicated her life to the noble but onerous mission of rescuing unwanted and unclaimed newborn girls and giving them a secure home and future.

Today, Unique Home for Girls has 60-odd residents who call Prakash Kaur mother. “They are my own children,” the lady says. “They are never made to feel like abandoned children.”

As we walk around the home, it is easy to see that her claim is quite well-founded. Even as her ‘family’ expands and her responsibilities grow, Prakash Kaur’s fount of maternal compassion shows no signs of drying up.

She has touched the lives of many who’ve been cruelly shunned by their own. Siya was only a few hours old when she was found in a drain, wrapped in a black polythene bag. Reva was a newborn when her parents decided to dump her near the highway off Kapurthala. Razia and Rabiya were just a few days old when they were discovered in the fields outside Jalandhar.

These girls have all found shelter in Unique Home, where they now enjoy the real family experience that their pitiless parents chose to deprive them of simply because of their gender. The girls who live here range from the age of four days to 19 years.

Unique Home is run by a trust named after Bhai Ghanayya Ji, a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh. The trust aims to raise these children as healthy individuals and arm them with all the social skills and educational qualifications that they need to face life on their own terms. The girls could not have found a better person than Prakash Kaur for the job of providing them with support and succour.

Most of Unique Home’s inmates arrive here as hapless, barely alive foundlings. So they have no recollections of how they are brought here. But those that have grown up in the life-affirming warmth of this home are proud that they belong here.

Under Prakash Kaur’s care and tutelage, these girls are all well adjusted individuals willing and able to take their rightful place in a society that still seems to harbour a strong aversion to children of their gender.

Prakash Kaur is acutely aware of the challenges that lie before her, but she has faith. “Yeh uparwaale ka kaam hai. Jab ussney yeh zimmedaari di hai to himmat bhi wohi dega. Jab aaj tak mujhe koi mushkil nahin aayee to aagey bhi nahin aayegi. Neki key kaam mein kabhi koi rukawat nahin aati,” she says. She is obviously getting on in years but she still retains the strength to make chapatis for all the inmates of the home three times a day and seven days a week.

The first thing that strikes one in Unique Home is a small hatched box near the entrance. It is called the “cradle”. Flip open the hatch and you see a shelf built into the wall. When a rescued child is placed on the shelf, it sets off an alarm that tells the staff that they have a new girl to take care of. When it comes to christening the new arrivals, names are drawn from all the religions of India. So at Unique Home, girls have Hindu, Muslim and Christian and Sikh names and faith has no restrictions.

Although we visited Unique Home without any prior notice, Prakash Kaur ensured that we were made to feel at home. Not surprising at all coming from a lady who has dedicated her life to dispelling a bit of the darkness that engulfs Punjab, indeed all of India. The girls brought to Unique Home grow up with a sense of belonging. This is the only home they know.

For a home that houses 60-odd girls, the place looks a bit too small. The rather cramped space has limited amenities for the girls, including three small rooms that serve as bedroom, dining area and playroom, in addition to a small kitchen and an office for visitors.

The room that is meant for infants has three big cradles. Each has four to five babies sleeping in them. Unique Home has now acquired a new site and expansion plans are in place.

But living space is the least of the home’s problems for the hearts here are big. This is like a huge family where the older girls take care of the younger ones. We are told by the founder that the girls go to good English medium schools like Saint Mary’s in Mussoorie. A few have since been married into suitable homes. But Prakash Kaur’s responsibility does not end there.

She continues to keep a watch over the girls even after they are married. She fights for their rights if the in-laws prove to be difficult. Take the case of former Unique Home inmate Alka. When her husband died prematurely, her in-laws grabbed all her property and threw her out of the house. Prakash Kaur intervened and fought tooth and nail. She eventually managed to secure for Alka her rightful share in the family property.

So far Prakash Kaur has organised the marriages of 17 of the Unique Home inmates. While a few of these girls graduated from college before they got married, the remaining tied the knot after passing out of high school. However, several of the older girls here have decided not to marry and instead dedicate themselves, like Prakash Kaur, to the service of Unique Home.

April 24 is a very special day at Unique Home. It is the day when the children here collectively celebrate their birthday. A huge 100-kg cake is cut and the day is marked by much merriment. That apart, once every year, during the summer holidays, the inmates of Unique Home go on a trip to Darjeeling.

On our visit to the home, we ate lunch with the children. The food was simple but delicious: rice, chapatis and aloo gobhi. Prakash Kaur made fresh chapatis for all the 60 children.

“We don’t want to give our kids up for adoption. People come to us but we refuse,” says Prakash Kaur. Although she did not give us any specific details, she told us that she knows of many cases in which adopted girls have been ill treated.

Prakash Kaur herself has no idea who her parents were. She was found abandoned and grew up in a Nari Niketan. She describes the work she does today as “the lord’s work”.

Asked if she ever faced any mistreatment in the Nari Niketan where she grew up, she smiles and says: “I will never allow my daughters to work as maids anywhere.”

The most essential part of this home is that the children are aware of the fact that their real parents have abandoned them because they are obsessed with boys. But this poisonous truth has only strengthened their resolve to prove themselves. Sheeba, who studies in a convent school in Mussoorie, wants to be a successful neurosurgeon.

“I want my real mother to know that the daughter she threw out of her life is well established. I want to be very famous. I want to prove to her that girls are not a burden,” she says. Sheeba has always stood first in her class with A-plus grades. She is determined to make it to a good medical college.

Lucy is 19 years old. She wants to be a professor of English. “I believe that education is the only way forward in this society which discriminates against girl children,” she says.

Punjab has one of India’s most skewed sex ratios. The percentage of women in the state’s population keeps dipping every year. A growing shortage of marriageable girls has forced men here to find partners in different cultures and states.

“When French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni came to India, they prayed for a boy. I was shocked. I used to think that Westerners treat both genders equally. He could have asked for a girl. It would have sent out a message to the people of India. It’s rather sad,” says Prakash Kaur. The French first couple prayed for a son at the Fatehpur Sikri dargah of Sufi saint Salim Chishti.

Female foeticide is on the rise, especially among the educated class and in higher strata of society. It has assumed alarming proportions. According to NGOs working with issues related to women, every year, 10 lakh cases of female foeticide take place in the country with the help of gender determination tests. The death of young girls in India exceed those of young boys by over 300,000 each year and every 6th infant death is specifically due to gender discrimination.

According to Anjalee Shenoy of Sama Resource Centre for Women and Health, new techniques like PGD (pre-implant genetic diagnosis), a method that involves producing embryos through IVF, cannot just help you decide the gender of the child but the colour of skin and hair. And there is no effective law in place right now to stop this practice. “This falls under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, but it is going undetected,” says Shenoy.

But there is hope yet. If only Prakash Kaur’s selfless spirit would rub off on society at large.To know more, please visit the website http://uniquehomeforgirls.co.uk/