Campaign collects items for New Unique Home for Girls in India

Abbotsford woman organizes the drive that brings in 1,500 items, including clothes and personal hygiene items.

Students of Harry Sayers elementary display the “Notes of Hope” they composed for a girls’ home in India.

Students of Harry Sayers elementary display the “Notes of Hope” they composed for a girls’ home in India.

An Abbotsford woman has collected almost 1,500 items for a girls’ home in India.

Deesh Sekhon gathered 170 pounds worth of clothes and personal hygiene items – such as soap, shampoo, washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant – for the New Unique Home for Girls in Jalandhar, India. The items will be sent this week.

The home is for girls ages newborn to 16 who were unwanted by their parents because they are female. Some were left in garbage bins or in fields on the side of the road. In some cases, they were poisoned.

Deesh SekhonSekhon decided to help out after hearing about the home on television and online. She launched the “Save a Girl” Facebook campaign, requesting people to donate needed items.

“This issue touched me personally, perhaps, because I am a girl; every girl deserves a chance at life,” she said. “The drive was a small step, but creating awareness of the issue was far more important to me.”

Sekhon also invited students from Harry Sayers elementary to compose “Notes of Hope” to be sent with the donated items.

The notes were compiled into a booklet that also included pictures and drawings, described what the girls’ hobbies are, and spelled their names in English and Punjabi.

Sekhon is not collecting any more items at this time, but has kept some aside for her relatives to deliver to the home when they visit India, which she hopes to do herself eventually.

Sekhon said she is now working on some other initiatives and hopes to get more people involved.

“Cultural values need to change; after all, we all come from someone’s daughter.”

Sekhon can be reached via her Facebook page (listed under “Deesh Sekhon”) or by phone at 604-825-8088.