Sonagachi Initiative

Sonagachi, near Kolkata, is one of the largest red light areas in Asia. Due to its location, children are trafficked into Sonagachi not only from all over India but also from Nepal and Bangladesh. It is an area with several hundred multi-story brothels and estimated 11,000 sex workers. The plight of the children has been highlighted by Oscar Award winning documentary “Born into Brothels”.

  • There are around 10,000 children between the age of 5 – 18 who are vulnerable to being forced into prostitution.
  • Approximately 3,400 children are in the age group of 1 – 10 years.

 

Our Approach:
From our experience it is evident that any organization which intends to provide any meaningful help to these children needs to relocate them away from the brothels and raise them as their own children. Providing education to children in their current environment will just create educated sex workers as these children have no way out.

Our Goals:

  • Set up a secure residential school for girls (5-18 years of age), at a location that is at a distance from the red light areas. Mothers will have visitation rights
  • Rescue girls every year.
  • Provide a safe home, food, clothing, education, healthcare, vocational training, and HOPE
  • Teach yoga & meditation to heal psychological wounds and to develop self confidence and the feeling of self worth
  • Set up a Skills & Vocational Training center

To reach this goal, we are building a residential school in Pailan, about 24Km from Sonagachi. We will be able to rescue 50 girls upon completion of the first phase and 50 more girls after the completion of the second phase. After that we will be able to rescue girls every year.

We strongly believe that for this project to be successful, both the mothers (sex workers) and the children have to be part of the solution

Vocational Training To Sex Workers

The mothers (sex workers) of these children are able to earn money only till the age of 30 or 35. After that they lose the roof over the heads and don’t even get any food to eat. This desperate situation compels them to force their daughters into prostitution.

So that these retired mothers don’t take away their daughters that we have rescued and force them into prostitution to support them, we will also provide vocational training to the mothers. This way they will be able to earn a respectable living while their daughters complete their education

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

Free Daytime School:

We have started a daytime school in Sonagachi where we provide free education, books and food to about 25 children. The children who were earlier roaming the streets aimlessly now love to attend the school. This way we engage children and mothers as early as possible

Children Celebrating Independence Day


Children Learning Breathing Technique

 
Free Medical Clinic:

We have started a free medical clinic in Sonagachi where everyone is welcomed. This not only helps us build good relationship with the mothers and the community but also helps us provide much needed service to the community.

 

Free Yoga & Meditation Center:

Yoga and meditation are the medicines for the 21st century. These practices not only develop confidence and remove the feeling of worthlessness but also provide much needed stress reduction and medical benefits.