About the Organization:
Swadhar IDWC-Pune, an NGO established in 1995, has been actively working towards the empowerment of women. The NGO's name "Swadhar" means self-reliance, and the organization strives to help women in distress irrespective of their caste, religion or community. Swadhar believes in creating awareness about women's rights and working towards making women self-reliant to lead dignified life on their terms. The organization undertakes the tasks of community-building and empowering women by working with children, men, and society at large. Since its inception, the organization has been working towards improving the lives of marginalized communities, particularly women, by focusing on education and health. Swadhar's primary focus has been to empower girls through proper nutrition and education and has brought about significant change in the lives of women in distress, providing them with the necessary support to stand on their own feet. The NGO's aim is to ensure that every woman is self-reliant, independent, and respected, regardless of their socio-economic background. With the help of its volunteers and members, Swadhar IDWC-Pune continues to make strides toward achieving its goals and empowering women.
Women, especially in India, have always been denied their rightful place in the family and society. If women are to be empowered, it is very important to make them aware of their rights and make them stand on their own feet. If we have to create a healthy society, we need to respect women and protect their rights. With this aim, the late Meenakshitai Apte, in collaboration with the late Mrinal Gore, a social activist from the Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, founded Swadhar IDWC in 1995. Swadhar works in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation areas to empower distressed women and disadvantaged children so that they become responsible citizens. The organisation also focusses on the overall development of the children of sex workers, HIV-infected children and economically backward and disadvantaged children by providing them with education, guidance, training and counselling, thereby improving their quality of life.
Swadhar IDWC’s projects include:
1. Mohor Project: This initiative provides a crèche and 24-hour shelter center for children in need of special care and protection, including children of sex workers aged 1-14 years. The project is run on the premises provided by the Municipal Corporation at Budhwar Peth, Pune, and has benefited 4,000 children to date.
2. Rays of Hope Project: This project has been running for 18 years and aims to rehabilitate HIV-infected and affected children aged newborn to 18 years. Activities carried out include providing ration kits and essential items to children and families, financial assistance for the children's education, organizing health check-ups for the children and family members, career guidance workshops, and more. The project has benefited 100,080 children to date.
3. Girl Education Support Programme: This initiative provides financial assistance to girls from low-income groups for school and college education. So far, 6,021 girls have received financial assistance through this project.
4. Women Empowerment: This initiative provides family counseling centers for distressed women and their families from slums. To date, 37,845 people have benefited from this project.
5. Phulora: This project teaches life skills to girls aged 10 to 18 years from underprivileged sections in cities and slums. Vocational training is also provided to women aged 18-35 years to empower them economically.
6. Akshardeep Project: This initiative provides educational assistance, support classes, kindergarten, e-learning projects, awareness about laws regarding educational rights, and more for the overall development of children from low-income groups and weaker sections in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.
7. Aksharsparsh Reading Class Project: This project is implemented in municipal and private schools to help children understand the alphabet and develop their reading skills.
The impact of Swadhar's projects can be seen through the stories of individuals such as Meenal and Avinash. Meenal, a 16-year-old HIV-positive girl, receives a ration kit and nutritious food from Swadhar every month, and the organization is supporting her education by paying her college tuition fees and fees for other academic courses. She has completed beauty parlour, skin therapy, and hair therapy courses through Swadhar and now she is working in a private hair and skin therapy centre in Bhosari, earning a salary of Rs.5,000 per month.
Avinash, a 15-year-old HIV-positive boy, was admitted to Swadhar's Rays of Hope project in 2017. He was severely malnourished and his condition was very serious. Swadhar workers provided him with food kits, medical aid, and educational assistance, and after four years, his health improved. He has passed his 12th exam, got a part-time job in a private company, is now earning a monthly salary of Rs 5,000, and is pursuing Commerce.
Primary Cause :
Empowering distressed women, children of sex workers, HIV-afflicted children and economically backward & disadvantaged children.
No results have been found