Provide computers for high-risk children in India

 
$209,454
$77,546
Raised
Remaining

In addition to our continued success with partners Prajwala, Apne Aap, the following new partnerships have been set in motion:

1. Mahila Abhivrudhdhi maththu Samrakshana Samsthe (MAAS) - Belgaum

A membership organization of ex-devadasis (sex workers), with over 2,500 members, MASS has acquired good visibility and sound working systems. They have independently secured the long-term lease of land from the Government but continue to work on acquiring the means to construct a permanent office for themselves. ASSET India has funded $100,000 in loans to 262 women through Milaap.org, a leading microfinance organization in India to set up their own income generating businesses so that their daughters and grand daughters will not enter the sex trade.

2.  Rescue Foundation- Mumbai, Pune, Delhi

The largest rescue agency in India, Rescue Foundation has achieved a prominent position in anti-human trafficking, and is known to be very active, transparent, and honest in fulfilling its mission of re-integrating rescued girls into society.

The RF Investigations and Rescue Team recovers over a thousand girls from brothels in Mumbai and Pune every year.  The survivors, who come from Nepal, Bangladesh, and rural India, are first housed in one of Rescue Foundation's three shelter homes while legal proceedings are undertaken by RF's their legal team.  Many girls are repatriated and either reunited with their families, or sent to shelter homes in their home state or country.  Others need long-term aftercare in the shelter homes, since their families were involved in selling the girls into slavery.

3. Made By Survivors- Kolkata

Working to educate survivors of trafficking and other human rights abuses. Their programs provide training in highly respected professions including jewelry design with wages high enough to get people out of poverty and able to support themselves independently. Some of the first jewelry trainees are now serving as trainers, program managers and mentors for new trainees. 

4. Unnati - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Raichur

Unnati is a 70 day vocational training program offered free of cost to the less educated, unemployed and economically backward youth with an assured job at the end of the training period. Unnati enables inclusive growth by empowering families below poverty line. 

5Anudip Foundation & iMerit.net- Kolkata, Various regions of West Bengal

Anudip Foundation began establishing training centers (Market Aligned Skill Training)  with three locations in the Sundarbans region of eastern India. These first centers were learning prototypes launched in partnership with community NGOs. They allowed the development of local learning techniques, course content, sustainability of operations, and ease of replication.  The growing success of the MAST training centers led to the concept of an iMerit Center, not only to absorb graduates of our MAST centers, but also to address the burgeoning growth of the BPO sector in India and the global market. In its first phase, spanning two years, iMerit was thus incubated by Anudip foundation under the nonprofit umbrella. In April 2012, iMerit moved to its second phase as an independent commercial Web Enabled IT Service company with a social mission. In the coming year, iMerit will expand its operations to many Indian states. 

Attached are reports from Prajwala and Apne Aap.

Links:


Attachments:

ASSET India Foundation has identified two reputable organization in the state of Karnataka that rehabilitate and educate the children of devadasis. In order to prevent the children from entering the flesh trade, ASSET will be providing laptop computers and digital educational content through iEinstein.org founded by well known Silicon Valley entrepreneur Kamran Elahian. The same program will also be offered in two additional locations in Kolkata.

The practice of Devadasi, meaning ‘a woman who serves god’, is an ancient Indian custom by which a girl is ceremoniously dedicated or married to a deity or to a temple to serve the goddess Yellamma. Traditionally Devadasis had a particular status in their community but over recent years the practice has been made illegal and has degenerated so that low-caste girls are being exploited and abused in the sex industry.

The Devadasi practice of serving the goddess Yellamma has been exploited so that dedicated girls are expected, once they reach puberty, to serve the goddess by having sexual relations with men for money in their community. The girls are also extremely vulnerable to being sold or trafficked into urban brothels in Bombay, New Delhi, or other main cities. The custom is illegal but the practice continues. This child abuse and exploitation is always and unequivocally wrong. Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child require states to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

Grinding poverty and lack of opportunities for Madiga families from the lowest caste can lead desperate parents to resort to dedicating their children to serve as Devadasi. The caste system plays a key role in both the corrupted Devadasi system and trafficking of girls into the sex industry. The practice is historically related to the worship of deities particular to the lower, Madiga caste. Extreme poverty and routine discrimination experienced by Madiga families further increase the risk of dedication. Parents who have no male children sometimes dedicate one of their daughters so she will be able to care for them in their old age. Women who have been widowed, or who are living with HIV dedicate their daughters as Devadasis if they struggle to support them or anticipate difficulty with marriage prospect is not uncommon for the female children of Devadasi women to be dedicated as Devadasis themselves, repeating the cycle.

The impact on girls is extreme. Most Devadasi girls are separated from their families at a very young age and are forced to work in the sex industry at abysmally low wages which increases their vulnerability to trafficking, malnutrition and infection of HIV/AIDS.

ASSET has been invited to apply for a $50,000 grant to fund the above projects.

At the invitation of Professor Tom Kosnik (Fenwick and West Consulting Professor, Stanford Technology Ventures Program,), ASSET India Foundation submitted the Forbesgunj BPO proposal (attached) to the Global Entrepreneurship Marketing (GEM) course.

The formal presentation was made by me on January 11th at Stanford. There were 31 presenters from companies including Intel, Ericsson and others. Student teams had to slect their top three projects and ASSET was selected in the first round itself and the kick off meeting was held on Monday January 15th. The team consisting of four students will develop a detailed marketing plan for the ASSET BPO in Forbesgunj, offering IT services to Indian and multi national companies operating in India. The completed plan will be used for fundraising purposes as well.

Several student leaders who were present at the presentation have invited ASSET India Foundation for fundraising events on the Stanford campus.

Senior managent at Cisco in San Jose, California have invited ASSET India Foundation to make a presentation at a fundraiser in February 2013.

ASSET is being considered for inclusion as one of the charities to benefit from a mobile game playing contest.

In view of the horrifying rape in Delhi, we will investigate the opportunity to help change men's attitudes towards women by recruiting boys who are children of sex workers. Thus far, we focused entirely on recruiting only girls and admitted boys as and when space permitted



Attachments:

ASSET India Foundation is building a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) center in Forbesgunj, Bihar- close to the India Nepal border. This center will train and employ 100 girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking, children of sex workers and vulnerable girls.

1. The girls will be paid 2000 Rupees per month during the six month training.

2. After training, they will be employed by ASSET partner Ruralshores at 4,200 Rupees per month.

3. Infosys Foundation has donated 100 desk top computers for this project

4. Desi Power is designing a 50 KW Biomass power plant which will use rice husk and wood chips as fuel

5. Desi Power is also designing the center which will which will house the 100 computers.

6. Gates Foundation is interested in using this center for training their field healthcare workers.

7. Insurance and other companies will utilize this center for their document processing.

8. A total of $100,000 ( $50,000 each for the construction of the center and the power plant) has to be raised by ASSET  by December 15, 2012. 

A special thanks to the donors at GlobalGiving, without whom we would not be able to provide a new life for these girls.

Links:

Teaching World geography at the Delhi center
Teaching World geography at the Delhi center
BREAKING NEWS: Just received word from Infosys, Bangalore that they will be donating 100 Desktops to the Forbesgunj, BPO project. Computers will be shipped end of July.
DELHI
Our center in Delhi trains girls who are children of sex workers. In this community of Najafgarh, the men sit around drinking and playing cards all day and send their wives out for sex work from midnight till 4 am. Many of the men have cars and they drive the wives to the hotels or sidedness! They don't let their daughters do sex work and demand a huge dowry for marriage. Once married, their husbands send them out for sex work. These women earn 1000 to 1500 rupees a night. I actually saw the men sitting on the street and playing cards. I wanted our car to run over them.  We are teaching the girls about alternatives means to a livelihood. I loved the time I spent with the them. They wanted me to see their Bhangra dance. they were absolutely amazing! they performed in a small hot room in mid day heat in Delhi This center has 25 girls enrolled. There are 8 female staff members doing outreach, convincing more women to send their daughters to the center. Our NGO partner is in the process of opening another center near G.B. Road, the oldest brothel area in Delhi. 
BANGALORE
In Bangalore, ASSET's partner organization Swasthi which has 7 centers serving 15,000 + sex workers is recruiting students for our next batch which will start on July 7th at the Unnati center, our partner organization. 

KOLKATA
At the Kolkata center, I told the students that if they answered all my questions about the various regions in India, I will buy pizza for all of them. They came through with flying colors and 40 students enjoyed pizza at my expense!:) 

CHENNAI
We received 20 used computers as a donation from FirstSource and 10 will be used in the Chennai center in partnership with Unnati

FORBESGUNJ, Bihar
One of the critical requirements for the BPO is uninterrupted electrical power for 18 hours a day. Forbesgunj does not have adequate power supply.
The easy solution would have been to opt for an inexpensive diesel generator but high fuel costs. We have decided use a Biomass generator that burns rice husk to generate electric power.
There is an abundant supply of rice husk in and around Forbesgunj.
The problem was to find a piece of 5,000 sq ft land for the generator. Mr. Vidyasagar Gupta, a local mill owner and landlord is donating the land and also a large warehouse that will house the BPO. 
1. 50 KW Biomass Generator:
a. Total installed cost is $100,000. Central government will provide a subsidy of $7,500. Balance to be financed at 5%
     through government approved lending agencies over 7 years. Loan will be repaid by revenues generated from sale 
     of electricity to the BPO. As of now, no donor funding required.
2. Desktop Computers:
a. Already have commitment from a donor for 20 computers ($12,000)
b. Have recommended to BO partner Ruralshores that we start with 80 PCs instead of 100. 
c. We are in need of additional donors to fund the purchase of the additional 60 computers at $600 each.
d. Awaiting cost of locally made furniture (work stations)
e. Received the BPO physical layout from Ruralshores. Will get local contractors to bid on remodeling.
3. Fiber optic cable connection:
a. Reliance has it available close to BPO site
b. Ruralshores will include the cost of the network cabling in its operating cost.
Recently retired General Manager of the National Bank of agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is heling with the
Loan application for the biomass generator. 
 
 

 


ASSET center-Forbesgunj
ASSET center-Forbesgunj

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Project Leader

Ray Umashankar

Director
Tucson, AZ United States

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