Work at Red Light Area

Kamathipura (also spelled Kamthipura is Mumbai’s oldest and Asia’s largest red-light district . It was first settled after 1795 with the construction of various causeways that connected the erstwhile seven islands of Bombay, initially known as Lal Bazaar, it got its name from the Kamathis (workers) of Andhra Pradesh state, who as labourers on construction sites. Then in 1880s it turned into a “comfort zone” for British troops, during British Raj. However due to tough police crackdown, in late 1990s with the rise of AIDS, and government’s redevelopment policy that helped sex workers to move out of the profession and subsequently out of Kamathipura, the number of sex workers in the area have dwindled, in 1992, as Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) records there were 50,000 sex workers her which reduced to 1,600 in 2009, with many sex worker migrating to other areas in Maharashtra and real estate developer taking over the high priced real estate

The goal of this programme is to provide the much-needed facilities and nurturing environment in which these children can recover in body, mind, and spirit from the horrors of life in the brothels. The nature of the facility provided is based on the need expressed by the women themselves.

Children of mothers who are not willing to send their child to total residential facility are taken care of in the day and night shelters which is in the vicinity of the brothels where the women work. The existing two centres cater to about 50 children each in the age group of 3-12 years.  The expenses are partly met by a government grant.
Social workers through regular visits motivate them to send their children to the day/night care centres. The social workers keep the mothers abreast about the activities of the centre and also the growth of each child. Regular contacts with the mothers are an essential component, in the effective functioning of the centre. ┬áThe activities of the centre are focused on providing basic nutrition and elementary value education. Primary training to prepare the child for formal school is undertaken at the centre. Cultural programs, field visits and an outing to enhance their growth and understanding of the outside world form part of the centre’s curriculum. Children are enrolled at the government-run school for continuing formal education. Regular visits and monitoring of the children’s progress in school is carried out by trained social workers. Periodic health check-ups and regular immunization program is an integral part of the Centres work. Professional counsellors help children with emotional adjustment and behavioural problems.
Children whose mothers are willing to send them to a residential facility is first enrolled in the orientation centre for a period of 6 months to 1 year, to prepare the children both physically and emotionally for the disciplined life in the institution which is very different from what they have been accustomed to. Under the care of house parents and counsellors they are made to detach themselves from the learning that they have assimilated at the brothels and also to orient them to institutional life.
During this period a thorough health check up and monitoring is conducted to rule out communicable diseases. This centre aims to give appropriate care for the infected children. Children with health problems would be treated at the centre or would be referred to hospitals and once cured; they would be shifted to the children’s institution. Functional literacy program, value education, exposure visits and training workshops form part of their curriculum