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Umeed, Udaan and Umang

Campaign by Apne Aap Women's Collective

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Story

Umeed for women in brothel-based prostitution: The objectives of the Umeed Program are to help women who have been trafficked into prostitution with their physical, mental and economic well-being. Umeed is a constant empowerment program, which aims at a holistic and overall development of the beneficiaries through services such as outreach- the outreach team helps identify potential beneficiaries, conducts home visits, provide aid in obtaining identity documents (Voter Card, Ration Card, PAN Card, Aadhar card) which enable them an access to government benefits and schemes. Finance/ financial literacy, empowerment/ vocational training, education/ adult literacy, health- mental & physical such as medical referrals, medical monthly check up/ health camps/ nutrition, counselling, recreation and shelter home placement. Since these women enter prostitution at a very young age, they are uneducated and therefore unskilled, which makes such an empowerment process imperative.

Udaan for their daughters (5-18 years): While serving the women in brothel-based prostitution, AAWC realized that their daughters were at a greater risk of entering the cycle of inter-generational prostitution due to their close proximity to sex trade. They were normalized to the act of becoming a prostitute, did not have any positive role models, and thus no alternative aspirations for the future. Hence, our Udaan program aims at providing these young girls with various services, utilizing education as the main tool to break this inter-generational cycle of prostitution. 

We equip our girls to pursue aspirational professions and enable genuine socioeconomic mobility. The services provided to the girls include formal and informal education which involves enrollment in government and private school, tuition after school, mentor mentee programmes, exposure visits, educational vocation classes, educational workshops and career guidance oriented exposure visits which exposes the beneficiaries to various professions, health includes both physical and mental health which consist of monthly check ups, medical referrals, quarterly medical camps, daily nutritional meals and multivitamin supplements, counselling, art therapies, involvement in extracurricular activities such as dance, drama and music, recreational activities and shelter home services. Along with these services various job skill trainings are conducted and Job placements are provided to the beneficiaries for their economic independence away from red light area after the completion of their education.

Umang for the toddlers of the women (2.5-5 years): The objective of our Umang Program is to help toddlers (ages 2.5 to 5) develop physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially in preparation for formal schooling. AAWC realized that when the women beneficiaries are busy during their work hour the children are left unattended. They witness explicit sexual acts, various illicit activities prevalent in the area such as drug peddling and gambling which makes them easily vulnerable and gullible for the dealers to use them as couriers. Moreover, the exposure of the community has an overall unhealthy impact on their young minds. as behaviour which is visible in the form of foul language used, and mimickery of the violence they witness in the area. They aspire to become the most powerful goon of the community and the area.

 As a result, AAWC started working with the children in the red light community by providing them with a safe and secure environment through various services such as regular kindergarten classes, e-learning sessions, social and life skills sessions, health services both physical and mental which includes daily nutritional meals and multivitamin supplements, medical referrals, monthly medical checkup , quarterly health camps, counselling sessions, therapies, recreational activities, shelter home services and boarding placements. 

We are conducing following activities regularly:                          

Outreach: AAWC outreach workers conduct outreach on a daily basis. They visit beneficiaries’ homes and  provide  them  with  on-field  services,  disseminate information, raise awareness, and provide any necessary support  that  they  may  require  along  with  identifying potential  new  beneficiaries  who  can  benefit  from  our services.  

Education: We ensure that Udaan children are enrolled in schools and provide them with extra tuitions at our center so that they can reach their potential. We also encourage Udaan girls who wish to attend English medium schools to do so and provide them with extra tuitions to help the transition, as a financial support.

 At our center, we offer regular workshops (for example, art, music, dance) and computer literacy classes. There, we also provide daily kindergarten classes for Umang children to help them with  the  development  of  basic  social,  intellectual  and emotional  skills.  We  recognize  that  red  light  district residents inevitably struggle and are marginalized if they do not speak English or Hindi.

Therefore, as well teaching Umang and Udaan children these languages, we also offer adult  literacy  classes  in  Hindi  and  English  for  Umeed women

Health  (a)  Physical:  Umeed  women  receive  first  aid, quarterly medical camps (general health, dental, vision, malaria, cancer detection), and regular health workshops (hygiene, nutrition, reproductive health, maternal/child health). A counselor helps them address personal and relationship issues like substance abuse, violence, sexual health,  childcare,  and  alternative  employment.  Women living   with   HIV/AIDS   or   tuberculosis   receive   daily nutritional   supplements;   those   who   need   long-term treatment   or   hospital   care   are   provided   subsidized medication and/or hospital referrals.

Udaan and Umang beneficiaries receive daily nutritional meals   and   supplements,   monthly   physical   check-ups, quarterly medical camps (general health, dental, vision, immunizations,  malaria,  cancer  detection),  and  regular health workshops (hygiene, nutrition, and for Udaan girls, reproductive health). If HIV/AIDS care or hospital care is required,  we  provide  hospital  referrals  and  diligent follow-up on treatments and medication.

(b)  Mental:  A  counselor  helps  Udaan  girls  address personal     and     relationship     issues     like     academic performance,       career       choices,       puberty,       family relationships, or sexual abuse.

Empowerment    -    With    a    fresh    outlook    through counselling, they are then eager to empower themselves through our skill development and vocational training workshops. We offer individual career guidance and help place  girls  and  women  in  new  careers.  Moreover,  we conduct  awareness  workshops  on  issues  such  as  HIV, menstrual health and mother-daughter relationships to help our beneficiaries feel empowered in all aspects of their lives.                                                                  

Recreation – With beneficiaries from all three programs, we attend and organize activities like religious festivals (Hindu, Muslim, and Christian), park visits, theme park visits,     carnivals,     and     secular     celebrations     (e.g. International Women’s Day, Children’s Day, Republic Day, Independence Day).                                      

Shelter home- We offer a healthy, hygienic & secured environment in our shelter home for Umang children and Udaan girls who would otherwise have to stay in a brothel or on the streets overnight and fall prey to physical or sexual abuse. We also refer them to other shelter homes away from red light area.

-Potential increase in the enrollment of women beneficiaries in our adult literacy programme

-Successful in providing job skill training to the beneficiaries which has led beneficiaries to quit their profession and attain job placement in reputed factories and centers.

-A 100% success rate in curtailing the inter generational cycle of prostitution

-Preparedness of the children for formal schooling and development of positive thinking about education which withhelds them from quitting and pushes them to continue their education.

-Improved health and immunity development.

-Older beneficiaries are becoming a change agent wherein they are taking up leadership and mentoring roles for the younger beneficiaries which is a step towards curtailing the second generational cycle of prostitution. 

Organisers
Apne Aap Women's Collective

Apne Aap Women's Collective

Beneficiary Charity

Apne Aap Women's Collective

Apne Aap Women's Collective

Organiser

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