News & Star
 10:47 - 7 September 2004 CLASSIFIEDS | MOTORS | JOBS | PROPERTY | the LIST | e SHOPPING 


Second raid on India charity

Saddened: Joanna Harma
Saddened: Joanna Harma

By Eleanor Wilson

THIEVES have stolen hundreds of pounds from a Carlisle charity shop – the second raid in less than six months.

Saturday’s takings from the Free Schools India shop in Abbey Street – some of the best this year at more than £340 – were stolen from a house in Thursby on Sunday afternoon.

The charity, bringing free, fulltime education to India’s poorest children, lost more than £60 to thieves in July when collection boxes were stolen.

Shop owner Joanna Harma said the cash stolen in the latest theft would have provided six Indian children with schooling for a year.

She added: “It had been a really busy Christmas Saturday and finally we were getting close to paying off the loans we’ve had to take to set up the shop, so we can start putting more money towards the school. It’s very depressing.”

Mrs Harma, 26, opened the shop in July after visiting India and seeing children forced to work in factories for less than 20p a day.

Its profits go towards building a school in the remote village of Chakarsi in Uttar Pradesh, north east of Delhi. Her husband Gaurav Siddhu, who she married in Delhi in February, is in India supervising the building of the school, due to open in three months time.

The money was taken from inside Mrs Harma’s home in Curthwaite Road, Thursby, between noon and 2.30pm on Sunday.

The thief sneaked into the house through the back door and took the money from a shelf in the dining room.

Anyone with information should contact the police on 01768 891999 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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