About the Organization:
Established in 1995, Swadhar IDWC-Pune, is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) with membership open to men and women. Swadhar was set up to help women in distress irrespective of their caste, religion or community. Swadhar means self-reliance and we work towards empowering women through creating awareness about their rights. We work with women to help them become self reliant and live a dignified life on their own terms. Over the years we realized that women cannot be empowered if we work with them in isolation and hence, we started working with children, men and the community at large. Since inception we have largely worked in the areas of education and health with communities facing various forms of marginalization. Our focus has been to empower girls through proper nutrition and education.
‘Swadhar’ IDWC Pune was established in 1995. 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. 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.
The following projects are conducted by the organisation:- 1. Mohor Project:- Under this initiative, a crèche and 24-hour shelter centre are run for children in need of special care and protection and sex workers’ children (1-14 years). These are run on the premises provided by Municipal Corporation at Budhwar Peth, Pune. So far, 4,000 children have benefited from this project. 2. Rays of Hope Project:- This initiative is being implemented by the organisation for the last 18 years. HIV-infected and affected children (newborn to 18-year-olds) are rehabilitated through it. Activities such as providing ration kits and essential items to such children and families, financial assistance for the children’s education, organising health check-ups of the children and family members, career guidance workshops for children, etc. are carried out. So far, 1,00,080 children have benefited from this project. 3. Girl Education Support Programme:- Under this initiative, financial assistance is provided to girls from low-income groups for school and college education. Till now, 6,021 girls have been given financial assistance for education through this project. 4. Women Empowerment:- Under this initiative, Family Counselling Centres are run for distressed women from slums and their families. So far, 37,845 people have benefited from this project. 5. Phulora (Life skills for school girls and vocational training programme for adult girls and women):- Under this programme, life skills are taught to girls (10 to 18 years) from underprivileged sections in cities and slums. Also, various forms of vocational training are provided to women aged 18-35 years to empower them economically. 6. Akshardeep Project:- Under this initiative, educational assistance, support class, kindergarten, e-learning project, awareness about laws regarding educational rights, etc. are undertaken for the overall development of children from low-income groups and weaker sections in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. 7. Aksharsparsh - reading class project:- Aksharsparsh - reading class project is implemented in municipal and private schools to help children understand the alphabet and develop their reading skills.
1. Sixteen-year-old Meenal (name changed) is HIV+ve. Her father died of AIDS. She receives a ration kit and nutritious food from Swadhar every month. Also, the organisation is supporting her education by paying her college tuition fees and fees for other academic courses. She has done a beauty parlour course and skin therapy and hair therapy courses through Swadhar. Now she is working in a private hair and skin therapy centre in Bhosari and earning a salary of Rs 5,000 per month. She is preparing for her 12th exam externally. She dreams of studying skincare and becoming a doctor. 2. Fifteen-year-old Avinash (name changed), an HIV-positive boy, was admitted to Swadhar’s Rays of Hope project in 2017. He had lost his mother when he was 3. His father is also HIV+ve and suffers from asthma, and is therefore unable to work and earn. When Avinash was admitted to Rays of Hope, he was severely malnourished and his condition was very serious. Swadhar workers immediately started giving him food kits, medical aid and educational assistance by visiting his home with the approval of the committee. Also, his family was counselled. After four years of tireless efforts by the workers and medical treatment, Avinash’s health improved. He has passed his 12th exam and got a part-time job in a private company, earning a monthly salary of Rs 5,000. He is also pursuing Commerce.
Primary Cause :
‘Sakal’ has started ‘Social for Action’, a digital platform in the form of a website, to get crowdfunding for the activities of social service organisations working in Maharashtra. It brings NGOs and donors together. Every Sunday, information about the activities of one NGO is given through ‘Social for Action.’ This week, we will find out about Swadhar IDWC organisation that works for the empowerment of distressed women, children of sex workers, HIV-afflicted and affected children and economically backward and disadvantaged children.
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