Sep 2, 2020

I have been survived under the threat of contract


The background:

There are 31,362 sex workers covering major 42 prostitution localities in 3 districts of Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna Districts of Andhra Pradesh, according to a 2019 AP State AIDS Control Society, Govt of Andhra Pradesh study. Other estimates put the number at 50 thousands. The lockdown and social distancing measures have pushed them to the edge.Women working in red-light areas are also facing extreme risks and marginalization – due to stigma, discrimination, and criminality associated with their work – which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Children in red-light areas are also facing tremendous challenges. Prior to the pandemic, most children were living with their mothers in the brothels, sometimes going to school during the day, sometimes roaming the streets while their mothers work.But with schools closed, the children must stay inside the ill-ventilated brothel rooms with their mothers, unable to maintain social distancing and other precautionary measures. They are no longer receiving the crucial meals that their government schools provided.

Traffickers will use this opportunity to offer some advance payment to parents or other family members. The disruption in the state and civil society institutions and child protection mechanisms put children at high risk and in a very vulnerable situation. Girls living in the red-light areas / pockets are especially at risk, as their mothers may sell them off to get out of debt.

HELP staff and Volunteers are also providing short-term relief to children and families in vulnerable communities, including essential food and sanitation supplies.HELP is providing food to children of sex-workers in the 15 red-light pockets of Guntur, Krishna and Prakasam districts.In addition to these services, HELP staff & volunteers will continue sharing crucial information on ensuring child safety and prevention of child sexual abuse. The contributions of local organizations like these in times of crisis cannot be overstated. HELP is proud to support them as they work to keep children healthy, safe, and cared for.

For most children of sex workers, conditions at home aren’t conducive to learning. Many have no formal education and need to catch up before they can be integrated into schools. And when they do, they must deal with the stigma, and abuse, that follows.

Sharing of experiences by Girls supported by HELP & GlobalGiving:

*Rashmi, daughter of a sex worker in Vijayawada residing in one of prostitution locality, was devastated. She is stayed back at her house because of the COVID 19 vacations to her collegewhere she is studying her intermediate 1st year. She was under the anxiety of contracting with the pandemic as the location she is residing is having enough scope for spread of virus because of the uncaring attitude of the people towards preventive measures and protocols of COVID 19 enforced by the state. She said “I have been survived under the threat of contracting with COVID 19 till the initiative of certain interventions by HELP with the support of GlobalGiving. They have educated the people in my location on issues and ill affect of COVID 19 and its impact on socio-economic circumstances of families. They have created awareness on preventive measures and protocols such as maintaining physical distance, wearing masks and frequent sanitizing of hands and so on. They further facilitated with the resources helped me in attending online classes to reduce my trauma and distress towards the COVID 19. Next year I’ll be in university doing my BA. I won’t be able to take nine months off,”.

*Sujani’s the daughter of *Ramana residing in Addanki town of Prakasam District where her mother in sex work since 10 years. She had a step father who often creating disturbance in home. Sujani came back to her home town in the wake of lock down of her residential school in which she is studying 10th standard. She was indeed felt so pity of herself as it was a routine to witness quarrel between her mother and step father. She underwent severe trauma and gradually developing a sense of suicidal attempt. HELP has conducted an online session on overcoming trauma and distress among the sex workers and survivors of trafficking. Moreover, because of the poor economic condition as there was no business during and even post lockdown impact, we were not in a position at least to purchase sanitizers and masks. Later HELP has provided masks to all of us.

Sujani stated that, “it was really a new birth for me as the way the resource person who facilitated online session to address trauma was really helped me in suppressing the negative thoughts led towards a life of hell. Now I am attending online classes of my subjects with the support of HELP and I would like extend my sincere thanks to both HELP and GlobalGiving”.

*Hema is the daughter of a woman in sex work residing in Chilakaluripet of Guntur District. She is studying 2nd Intermediate but returned back to her home as the hostel was closed down in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic. The local people where she is residing are living on daily wages work and most of them are illiterates. She is not in a position to attend the online classes because of the business in her home where the customers visiting her house uses filthy language and try to abuse and exploit even Hema besides using her mother. HELP started creating awareness among the communities on preventive measures and protocols of COVID 19 and also distributed masks and sanitisers in her locality.

Hema says that,“ I would like to be very much thankful to HELP for its commendable work that not only facilitated a safe place for me through creating awareness in my community that was contributed to bring an effective attitudinal change among our people. I have a dream of becoming a civils officer and serve the people with every benefit that the Government enforces for the welfare of marginalized families. I am attending recreational activities and meditation classes to get rid of my anxiety and distress. I am so grateful to HELP and GlobalGiving for supporting me in continuing my education and providing a new life for me”.

A brief overview on Intervention by HELP:

HELP provided cooked meals a day for 15 days as well as monthly groceries and toiletries to 300 families during the lockdown in 42 prostitution localities covering 3 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Provided the required Personal Safety Gear - masks, sanitizers, soaps and safe drinking water. Provided the food material and immediate nutritional & medical support including emergency medical kit (include ART supplies for two months) to Prevent malnourished among children during the lockdown and also provided psycho-social counselling support

Area of Operation: 3 Districts (Prakasam, Guntur & Krishan) of Andhra Pradesh –India

No.of Benificiries: 175 families of Women in Prostitution the Details of Relief Material distributed by HELP are 1000 face Masks - each family average 10 based on the family members,sanitizers – 100 ML bottles 2 nos for each family,sanitary Napkin pads – each family 2 pockets, 175 cooked meals suppiled everday nearly 15 days, monthly provisions and toiletaries for 300 familes.

Community based activities undertaken by HELP

HELP has conducted awareness programmes on knowledge and assistance about sanitization at their living spaces in collaboration with the local Health Dept & Municipal authorities. Awareness campaigns about virus and how to protect themselves from contracting the virus have been conducted among the target communities. Conduted One to one and one to two community meetings with sex workers and their family members on Importance of social distancing. In addition, provided Psycho-social counseling services and faciliated online tuitions to the school going children. Further, HELP has conducted online sessions through ZOOM App and provided psycho-social counselling support through one to one and one to two by the famous physiologists.

sanitary napkins and sanitizers distribution
sanitary napkins and sanitizers distribution
food material distribution
food material distribution
group counselling sessions in the community
group counselling sessions in the community
counselling to mothers in the community
counselling to mothers in the community
Jul 27, 2020

I want to be a Nurse to serve the needy people

Bujji with Mobile
Bujji with Mobile

The girl *Bujji (16 years) mother is *P.Rajani belongs to a Backward Caste having two sisters and a brother. Rajani is the second one amongst them to her parents.Her parents are agricultural labors who earn meager sums. She studied7th class at one of slum areas Kundavari Kandrika in Vijayawada.

She got married with one of her nearest relatives namely Appala Swami in May 2006 and given birth to two female children. But after 8 years, she got separated along with her two girl children from her husband because of family disputes and as her husband turned alcoholic and harassing her.As she had no source of income and she didn’t possess any skills required to survive and sustain her two children she entered in to prostitution. While she goes out for the business on contract basis for 2 – 3 days, she had to leave her two children alone at her home which is indeed insecurity for those girls. Once, police have raided on a brothel house and rescued Rajani and sent for shelter home for few months. She reintegrated with her family since the court of law having concern over her children. Now she is attending daily wages and struggling to meet her family expenses. But, she wish to continue her children with good education and wish to see their growth at a higher position in society with a life of dignity and proud.

She requested HELP to help her elder daughter *Bujji’s education who is studying in 1st year intermediate. HELP is in its best efforts to support her through GlobalGiving donors who could support the education of Rajani’s daughter.

*Rajani stated that,“the COVID 19 pandemic outbreak has shown bitter impact on so many lives and myself along with my children are not an exemption. Because of lack of work and earnings I am not in a position to feed myself and my children a fistful of food at least once in a day and spending for the education for my child is indeed far beyond the grounds for me. At this moment GlobalGiving has come forward to conciliate my sorrows and supported my daughter to continue her education for whom we indeed indebted”

The girl *Bujji stated that,“I have prepared for 10th exams and also paid exanimation fee to appear the exams. But the Government has promoted passing all students in the state without conducting exams due to the aggressive outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic. I dream to be a nurse in my future and give my services to the needy poor people for protect their health. And after passing 10th exams now it’s a challenging for me to continue my education with Intermediate attending online classes as all the educational institutions, schools and colleges are not yet opened in India as well as in our state of Andhra Pradesh. At this juncture, HELP organisation through GlobalGiving has provided me a smartphone enabled me to hear the classes. I am extremely thankful to GlobalGiving for its timely support”.

*The names of all the girls/women have been changed to protect their identity.

Mar 31, 2020

I wish to become a social worker

Name: Lakshmi* 15 years

Education: 9th standard

Address: SRKT Colony, Narasarao pet, Guntur District.

Lakshmi (15 years) is the daughter of  Mrs. anjali * who got married in the year 2002. They have given birth to two children i.e., Santhi Kumari and her elder brother.  The family is facing deep financial problems as the head of the family is an alcoholic and also addicted to illegal affairs. As a painter he used to earn meager sums which are spent to fulfill his bad habits without taking care of any of the family responsibilities. He had no concern either family or his health concern that thrown the lives of Anjali and her children in to unwanted hurdles. As there is no support to the family by any means, the boy has stopped his studies in his 9th standard and remained in home.

 The girl’s mother  learnt tailoring which she wanted to make best use of source of her income to nourish children and sustain her family. Hence, she tried for some credit from the persons whom she acquainted among their tenants. But, the tenants whom she approached for money support have perverted her luring for easy money. Since, she is in the crises without any helping hand at the moment; she had entangled in to the vicious cycle of prostitution and started earning money. After some time she bought a sewing machine and started tailoring too while continuing in prostitution as the money she earn from tailoring is so scanty that could not suffice to meet her family expense. She expressed her wish with her heart’s content that,” my son has stopped education and he is in no way concern over education right now.

 My strong desire is to continue my daughter’s education and I want to see her at a position where she could respect herself and makes us to be respected in the society. I trust my girl that she works hard and achieve apex position in her future if she is supported with due care and concern over her education” she requested. HELP organisation as part of its prevention of second generation being trafficked programme extended support to the girl.

 The girl *Lakshmi stated that “I am so fortunate enough that I have been supported by HELP through GlobalGiving to continue my education. I wish to become a social worker and serve the needy people. They have paid my examination fee which allowed me to write my final examinations and now I am going to admit in 10th standard with the helping hand of GlobalGiving for which I would like to express my cordial gratitude”

*The names of all the girls/women have been changed to protect their identity.

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