MISSION: Night Shelter for Children of Sex Workers in Baruipur, West Bengal, India

ANNUAL BUDGET to operate a girls and boys shelter for 2016-2017 US $6000 (INR 3,80,000)
OBJECTIVES:

  • Ensure a protective environment to the highly vulnerable children of sex workers
  • Reintegrate the children into mainstream society through formal school education and opportunity for higher studies.

BACKGROUND:

  • Extreme poverty and starvation forces women to take up prostitution. The women lack basic human rights.
  • Children born to sex workers grow up amidst the poverty, squalor and crime in the brothels. Most do not go to school.
  • Children are all malnourished and physically and sexually abused frequently by the clients. They are exposed to crime, alcohol and drugs at a very early age.
  • Significant majority of boys succumb to a life of crime. Almost 100% of the girls take up prostitution or are kidnapped and forced into prostitution.

ACTION:

  • NISHTHA with support from Asha for Education, Atlanta Chapter started a night shelter in September 2006 for the children of the sex workers. Shelter remains open seven days of the week.
  • 32 children of ages 2 to 14 years live in the shelter. The shelter provides safety and emotional support. Nutritional support, clothing and recreational activities are also provided.
  • The children are enrolled into formal schools through the help of Nishtha. Non formal teaching is provided to children who are unable to be accepted into formal schools.

CHALLENGES:

  • Overcoming prejudice and stigma from the local population and ensure integration of children into mainstream society.
  • Minimize dropout rate from schools and night shelter by providing education and emotional support to the children.
  • Empowerment of mothers to minimize prostitution

PROGRESS:

In 2013 and 2014, for the first time in the history of Baruipur, with Asha’s support; two girls, children of sex workers from Nishtha, graduated from Class 12 and enrolled in Nursing college with guaranteed job placement in the local Govt. hospitals.

MISSION: Minimize child marriage and empower women against domestic violence.

ANNUAL BUDGET for 2016-2017: $13,000 (INR 8,50, 000)

OBJECTIVES:

  • Minimize child marriage through education support, gender equality training, self-defense and empowerment training to more than 200 girls from two remote villages in West Bengal.
  • Provide college tuition support, spoken English classes and vocational training with job placements to ensure financial independence of the girls post high school.

BACKGROUND:

  • Agriculture (a primarily male-dominated vocation) is the primary source of income for the villages in South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, the sixth most populous district in India. Baruipur is the district headquarters (~30 Km from Kolkata).
  • Women and children of these villages are economically deprived and vulnerable due to the lack of opportunities for self-empowerment and employment outside of agriculture.
  • Girls are treated as a burden and not allowed to study beyond puberty. Female child marriage is extremely rampant with most marriages performed in secret with the girl and her mother having absolutely no say in the decision
  • Domestic abuse (physical, mental and sexual) is very rampant with most families accepting abuse as a way of life. West Bengal being a border state with significant trafficking of minors across the border, many girls are also sold into the sex trade by their husband and in-laws for money.

ACTION:

Since the seventies, Nishtha has been working with women and children in more than 300 villages in the South 24 Parganas district to educate young girls. Nishtha organizes numerous educational and empowerment coaching programs to provide the necessary age-appropriate gender equality and empowerment training.

  • Girls’ and boys’ groups – Balika and Balak Bahinis
  • Adolescent girls’ and boys’ groups – Kishori and Kishor Bahinis
  •  Adult women’s groups – Mahila Mandals

PROGRESS:

  • For the first time ever, 43 girls passed out of class 12 in 2014. Most of these girls are the first in their families to have attended formal school.
  • For the first time ever in 2015, 40 girls from the two villages underwent Spoken English and Computer skills certification from Don Bosco Tech.

CHALLENGES AND NEXT STEPS

  • Education, self-defense and empowerment support and vocational training must be continued relentlessly to minimize child marriage.
  • Additional counselling and support must be provided to ensure successful job placement of the girls who underwent Spoken English and Computer Certification.
MISSION: Minimize school dropout rates among adolescent children in four slums in Kamarhati,
West Bengal

ANNUAL BUDGET for 2016-2017: $8000 (INR 5.4Lakh, mostly supported through Support-a-child Asha donors)

OBJECTIVES:

  • 120 children from 4 centers provided with education support.
  • Maintain grades and minimize school dropout rates through backup teaching support.
  • Provide tutor salaries, food, medical checkups, books & stationary.

BACKGROUND:

Inspiration was formed in 1996 by IIT Kharagpur alumni to provide bridge training programs to children on migrant workers to help their integration into mainstream schools. Since 2010, Asha Atlanta has supported such bridge programs for more than 100 children of Kamarhati township of North 24 Paraganas district, West Bengal. Most of the funds each year are raised through
Asha’s Support a Child program with help from generous donors like you.

ACTION:

Asha Atlanta through the support a child program provides funds to run tuition classes, teacher salaries, books, stationary and snacks for children in four slums. The classes are vital to ensure that the children obtain the necessary support to maintain their grades and in be reenrolled into formal schools in the case of school dropouts.

PROGRESS:

Nearly 100% of the children in grades V to VIII can perform addition and subtraction. Approximately ~30% of the children can read and write sentences in English.

CHALLENGES AND NEXT STEPS:

Migration of the parents and extreme poverty of the families is a major source of continued high school dropout rates. Counseling of the parents combined with sustained support from Asha is vital to ensuring that the children stay in school and enter either into college or some kind of vocational training that will help them get jobs

MISSION:

  • Primary education for children in neighboring slums up to class 4, as well as training in the fine arts.
  • Women empowerment through vocational training and continuing support.
  • Healthcare for financially and psychologically deprived children, women and elderly people.

BACKGROUND:

Kalyania started with a primary focus on health care, attending to the senior citizens and
subsequently took on the education for underprivileged children. Kalyania Society was
established in 1998 by a group of Doctors, University Professors and Retired Executives with the objective of providing help to those who need them most.

ACTION:

Generating health care through women empowerment and providing avenues for earning through vocational training in the form of Sevika training and Home
Nursing training centers.

Holistic education for the children of the deprived and the downtrodden by
establishing Suhasini Sishu Niketan, a primary school.

PROGRESS:

Following recent talks with the Vice Chancellor of the Kalyania University, it seems
possible that the Sevika Training Program can be assimilated under their Department of
Social Welfare. This will mean that the syllabus will be restructured to meet the
University’s specifications and hence might lead to improved healthcare standards and
better job opportunities for the students of Kalyania.

MISSION: Girl/women empowerment through education and vocational traiing for self-sustenance

ANNUAL BUDGET:

Bicycle project to support 50 girls: $2500 (INR 1,52,500)

Sikshana Project for 1 school: $1000 (INR.60,000)

Vocational Training: $ 11,500 (INR 6,86,400)

BACKGROUND:

Vagra is a sub-district of Bharuch, Gujarat and contains 73 villages with 57% of the population being Muslim. A significant portion of the Hindu population belong to the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) who along with the Muslim community, are economically andsocially marginalized. Poor emphasis on the education of the girl child. All villages have primary and middle school while the district headquarters has two Govt. High schools. Most girls drop out after grade 8 since the families will not risk sending their daughters on the 15-18 Km commute to the high school.

ACTION:

GVT was founded in 2001 by Mr. Ramesh Kasondra who hails from the area. He instituted

numerous programs for promoting girl child education in Vagra block. Numerous Asha for

Education chapters have supporte GVT since 2005-2006 and Asha Atlanta started supporting

GVT since 2011. Some of the programs include:

  •  Bicycle program to help girls from remote villages commute to high school and minimize girl child dropout. Asha Atlanta started supporting 20 girls initially from 2011 and extended the program to buy 50 bicycles annually.
  • Sikshana Teacher Training program to improve the quality of education in Govt. schools. Asha Atlanta provides funds to support Sikshana program in one Govt. school annually.
  • Para teacher program to fill shortage of teachers in Govt. schools. GVT identifies suitably qualified individuals from the local community and pays for their employment as para teachers. Asha Atlanta provided a one-time Para Teacher salary support for 36 teachers in 12 schools in 2013.
  • Vocational training programs for girls such as beautician training, English and computer skills, tailoring classes etc. In 2015, Asha Atlanta provided funds to open and operate one vocational training center (sewing, beautician training and computer training ) that trains close to 100 girls.

PROGRESS:

Girl dropout rates decreased dramatically (less than 20%) sicne the introduction of the Bicycle program.

  • Sikshana program has enabled the children in the local Govt. schools to score ~90%-97% in Math, Science and English.
  • The first batch of girls have completed their vocational training program in the center opened by Asha Atlanta. They are awaiting job placements.

CHALLENGES AND NEXT STEPS:

All programs (bicycle, Sikshana teacher training and vocational training) have to be continued to

see continued impact on the lives of girls and women. Counselling programs need to be

regularly combined with the above efforts to ensure support from the families and local

community.


BACKGROUND:

The Spastics Society of Karnataka was founded in 1982. It aims to assist with the integration of children with disabilities into the mainstream community. The Society also works at creating awareness among people about prevention of disabilities such as cerebral palsy. Annually 3500 Children between infancy and adulthood with special needs and their families are provided with medical, diagnostic, therapy, education and vocational training facilities to help them achieve independence to the maximum extent possible in their daily living and employ-ability thereby becoming fruitful members of society. A team of multi-disciplinary professionals and para professionals help the child and the family in this process of rehabilitation. Apart from this core mission, the society also trains more than 200 professionals in the field of special education annually. Till date they have serviced around 50000 children and families.

ACTION:

The Centre for Special Education includes early child education, formal education and non-formal education units. It has the recognition of the State Education Board (up to Class 7) and the National Institute of Open Schooling for Open Basic Education and Secondary Education (Class10).

  • Early Child Education introduces young children to the structured world of learning through a multi-sensory approach.
  • The Formal Education Unit has students from Primary and Middle School to Secondary/Senior Secondary classes.
  • Non-Formal Education includes Prevocational, Vocational Training and Sheltered Work Unit Training (also called the Creative Art Unit).
  • The Learner’s Centre caters to children with learning difficulties and from low socio economic background.

PROGRESS:

Students from SSK have been gainfully employed in mainstream jobs in corporations such as Sasken, GE, MindTree, Flipkart, Cap Gemini, Target etc. The types of jobs range from Managerial to Back Office jobs. Many students have also been employed in the hospitality and garment industry and in smaller firms. The severely challenged students are earning their livelihood in sheltered employment units or attending respite care programs.