There is no shortage of energy and enthusiasm for favorite projects associated with clubs and organizations at Carmel High School. From bake sales to car washes, the list is practically endless for students who want to work hard for the good of others and raise money for local charities. Although there may be others like Sharmila, I was especially awed by the sincerity and determination of Ms. Paul and her effort to help young girls, not locally, but living on the other side of the planet.
In January of this year, CHS Junior Sharmila Paul created The CHS Living Hope Club. Her group has two primary goals. First, the Living Hope members want to raise awareness about the horrific issue of female infanticide. But more than just raising awareness, Sharmila’s team wants to do something about it by raising funds to support a safe haven for girls who might otherwise be killed.
According to Sharmila, she watched a 20/20 documentary about the problem and instantly became passionate. During the show, she learned that it is very common in some cultures to kill female babies because they are viewed as a burden to the family. She said, “On a personal level, it frightens me to think that being a girl of Indian descent, I could have faced this fate if I had been born to a family in India which viewed daughters only as burdens. And it astounds me, as well as my club members, that in this modern world where we dream of women’s equality and where women are some of the world’s great leaders, these girls are denied their right to live and fulfill their potential.”
So, instead of just talking about it, The CHS Living Hope Club is taking action. By Nov. 14, they hope to raise $5,000 to send to Unique Home For Girls in Punjab, India. With the money, the orphanage will be able to purchase blankets, books and make improvements to the living quarters of countless young girls.
So far, they have raised $242 with a recent bake sale and have other money generating activities planned for the rest of the year. At 21 members strong with a clear mission, The CHS Living Hope Club is looking at every opportunity to generate cash in order to achieve its goal. When I asked why my column and why The Current in Carmel, Sharmila said, “Because you reach the adults who have credit cards.” To support this humanitarian effort www.livinghopeclub.org.