Grant Status $7983 needed

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Expected Usage of Funding
Supplies, Furniture:
$0
Labor and Salaries:
$8323
Transportation:
$1000
Raw Materials:
$2000
Research:
$0
Administrative:
$0
Other:
$0

Profile

Apne Aap aims to ensure the right to education for children in the red light districts of West Bengal, Delhi and Bihar, India through a strong support system and responsive community action.

A red light district is not limited to a business for sex. Children are born here and grow up under the confines of such a society, learning to use their sexuality to get attention and gain approval from the adults around them. These children face great stigma and discrimination and despite the government's efforts to improve conditions for the children, their status isolates them from the word and places them on the lowest rungs of Indian society.

These children are victims of their circumstances from birth, as they have been denied the opportunity to grow up in an environment conducive to healthy physical and psychological development. Access to education, healthcare, and protection services is blocked due to stigma. In their homes, children often subjected to abuse and witness their mothers being beaten and humiliated by clients, pimps, madams, brothel owners, and the police. Many times, in order to shield their children from such an environment, mothers turn to marriage, leading to child marriage.

On the other hand, boys become involved in the sex trade at a very young age, either directly or indirectly as pimps or as trafficking agents, or more indirectly by working for political parties, through local clubs, or by selling drugs or alcohol.

Many times mothers work late into the night and are often unable to provide a suitable quiet place for their children to do their homework. Many mothers are illiterate and have limitations in supporting and understanding the demands of their children's schooling. As a result, youth from red light areas usually lack the qualifications and contacts necessary for securing formal sector jobs.

History

Providing opportunities of education to children of prostituted women in red light areas not only builds up their future but also keep them away from the red light areas and its exploitative environment. Education gives a wide open option to these children to grow up normally just like any other child in the mainstream society. There is massive school dropout in red light areas as mothers keep themselves busy in entertaining customers, paying least attention to their children, who in turn either roam on the streets or are dragged towards addiction, pickpocketing, gambling or fights. Apne Aap Women Worldwide has been looking out for alternative educational plans and have already admitted 300 children in different government schools, Govt. sponsored KGBV (Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya) schools, residential schools like Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission and other private schools. It is seen that to a great extent general education along with vocational education alleviates the kind of problems faced in red light areas and rehabilitates the children in a way. In spite of which mothers are able to keep a regular touch with their kids necessary for a family. Girls through education are able to integrate themselves with practical skills which reduce their opportunity of being dragged into prostitution. Lastly there is always a possibility of shaping their future for a dignified living breaking down the cycle of prostitution and sexual exploitation.

Impact

**Right to Education
The basic right of children i.e. right to education would be ensured and every child from the red light area would get an opportunity to read and write in an open environment away from all sorts of exploitation.

**School Going Girl Child
Every girl in the red light areas will be given equal opportunity to come out of such an exploitative environment and continue her studies in a healthy manner. Girls are generally used in red light areas as house maids by their parents, used by pimps to run errands for fetching tea, snacks, alcohol etc. Through educational measures these girls would get a chance a chance to carve out their life out of a red light area.

**Breaking Inter-Generational Prostitution
Education breaks down the cycle of inter-generational prostitution. Dismantling prostitution becomes easier if young girls are motivated to move out from the clutches of red light areas and are provided with an opportunity to learn the world with their own eyes in an open and learning environment along with other children from the mainstream society.

**Dismantling Prostitution and Minimizing Sex-trafficking
Once young girls move out of red light areas, and pursue education for a better living they would never be prostituted again. These girls in the long run will fight for their rights and also protect the rights of thousands of such girls in red light areas. Once victims, these girls after they have survived the situation will become change agents for other girls of red light areas thus reducing trafficking and incidences of being forced into prostitution.

**Provision of Relevant Skills
Education will also provide them with several technical and vocational skills, which would lead them to job opportunities in future. Life skills will train them up to handle real life situations and defend themselves from abuse and exploitation of any kind.

**Safe and Independent Space
Every child will get a safe and independent space to grow up when admitted in the schools. They won't have to go through the daily exploitation, abuse, stigma, discrimination, bad looks and an unhealthy life. Schools will provide them with a clean and healthy environment to grow up independently.

**Employment Opportunities
During their secondary and higher secondary education the children will be pruned adequately for communication, body language, presentation and other soft skills that would help them to fetch jobs in future.

**Healthy Girl Child
Once a child goes through the whole process of education she gets a healthy environment for her physical as well as mental well-being.

Team Credentials

This project will be implemented by a team who are associated with such work for almost 10 years. The team has to its credit the experience of organizing children from Red lights areas and admitting them to local and residential schools. Also the team is running one residential school in Bihar in collaboration with Bihar Government

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