How it started
Like most interesting ideas, it began with a conversation. Several years ago, a group of youngsters visited the Kamathipura red light area to share the joy and meaning of Christmas. The sex workers talked to them about the impossibility of a secure future for their children. That question snowballed into a commitment to start a movement that would result in the welfare of sex workers and their children.
Navjeevan Center was born in 1994, founded and supported by the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar to embody the credo – God’s Love in Action. Ever since we have worked towards the aim of reaching out to Commercially Sexually Exploited Women (CSEW) and their children. To motivate and support them to lead a better life. To provide the women with opportunities to give up their demeaning occupation and work towards integrating them into society as a family. The Centre was egged on by the desire of the mothers themselves to first move their children away from the exploitative environment to prevent them from being pushed into the same occupation.
Presently, as an ISO 9001-2008 certified NGO, we function with five field offices and an administrative office at Kalyan. There are thirteen units all over Mumbai and Thane district which include three day and night care shelters at red light areas of Mumbai, an eco-friendly residential home at Kapri Village in Tokowade, Murbad, an English medium primary and secondary school, a vocational training centre offering ten different technical trades, seven extension homes to facilitate higher education and a women’s unit focusing on empowerment, rehabilitation and reintegration.
Through the 25 years of service, Navjeevan Centre has strengthened and expanded its services, from providing institutional care to about 50 children in a temporary shelter in Vapi (Gujarat State) to setting up a full-fledged residential complex at Murbad (about 150 km away from Mumbai), which at present is the home of about 160 children. In the coming years the Centre aims to strengthen and expand the services for the rehabilitation of CSEW and their children.
The aim of our organisation is to make a positive difference in the lives of Commercially Sexually Exploited Women and their children. We believe that one of the main avenues through which children can participate in life is through education. Education will throw open a world of opportunities to the children, essential for leading a life of dignity.
The Day and Night Care Shelters in the vicinity of the brothels where the CSEWS (commercially sexually exploited women) work keep their children away from the activities of the night. After completion of one year at the Shelter, with the consent of the mother, the children are transferred to the Residential School at Murbad where they continue their formal education till the 10th Std. Children who wish to continue their education are placed at the extension homes in Kalyan, Goregaon and Vashi and efforts are made to support them within the capacity of the NGO.
Navjeevan Centre is registered under Societies Act XXI of 1860 (Regn No MAH/593/98/Thane) and under Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 (Regn. No M/7327/Thane) with approval for the Bal Ashram from The Women and Child Welfare Department.
Our Vision is to respond to the needs of the poor and the victimized and to contribute to a new social order based on human dignity, equal opportunity and social justice.
Our Mission is expressing God’s Love in Action by making a positive difference in the lives of underprivileged women, particularly, the commercially sexually exploited women and their children; to motivate them to confront their situation through collective action and to assist them in achieving their highest potential as they grow to become confident, competent and self-reliant as members within a family.
1. Growth in the physical, intellectual, vocational and moral capabilities of underprivileged women and their disadvantaged children.
2. Empowerment of the women and their children through strengthening their collective capacities.
3. To advocate and campaign for the rights of these underprivileged women and their children.
While Navjeevan is motivated by the love of God in Jesus Christ to serve people in need, Navjeevan will never exploit the vulnerability of the poor for faith reasons. Navjeevan serves the underprivileged, irrespective of caste, creed, colour, gender or religion. We do not engage in offering inducements or pressures to change faith; for us this principle is a policy position. We extend a helping hand to anyone and everyone who deserve it.
Our Commitment to Accountability and Transparency
Navjeevan is committed to high standards of accountability and transparency which is an expression of our core value on ‘stewardship’. Our core value is bringing God’s love to people through actions that ensure a better life for under privileged women and children. We continually strive to maintain high standards of professional competence and accountability through specified structures. An independent board exercises overall governance leadership, managing risks and ensuring compliance to statutory requirements. We have our policies, procedures, systems, practices, work culture and audits well in place to reflect our commitment to accountability and transparency.