ASSET India foundation, in partnership with Bachpan Bachao Andolan-BBA(Save the Childhood Movement) an organization founded by world renowned human rights activist Kailash Satyarthi has embarked on a fundraising challenge to rescue girls from the Assam tea plantations who have been sold by traffickers. Our goal is to help rescue at least 100 of the 127 girls whose parents have filed complaints with the Gauhati high court.
1.Attached photos were taken with some of the 130 trafficking survivors in Boisar, located 50 miles from Mumbai This center is run by our partner rescue Foundation.Two of the girls were pregnant and another two had their children with them. ASSET is providing the salaries for 2 teachers in each of the Rescue Foundation centers in Boisar, Mumbai and Pune. Also Infosys Foundation just informed ASSET about its donation of 20 computers for use in these centers.
2. A wealthy land developer in Kolkata has made a firm commitment to donate 1 acre land and hired an architect to design a hostel/training facility for 100 trafficking survivors. With the help of Sarah Symons, Founder of Madebysurvivors.com a list of rooms/specific requirements for the architect has been developed.
3. ASSET India Foundation has provided $83,333 in interest free loans to ex-devadasis ( women dedicated to temples as children and subsequently into sex work) to start income generating businesses to prevent their daughters/grand daughters from getting trafficked. I Traveled to six different villages in Belgaum district in the state of Karnataka, covering 250 miles over bone-jarring roads to meet with borrowers and their children. One pretty seventeen year old girl stood outi particular. She and her ex devadasi mother had traveled for hours to meet with me. The girl wants to take the entrance exam for engineering going against community pressure to get married. Her mother supports the girl's dream. They lacked the funds to pay for coaching classes and exam fees. The mother and daughter were in tears. What a privilege to be able to help this girl pursue her dream!
4. ASSET has entered into a partnership agreement with Anudip Foundation (www.anudip.org) to provide training and manage our center in Forbesgunj, Bihar.
Nov 20, 2013
Microfinance loans to devadasis (sex workers)
By Ray Umashankar - Executive Director
1. In partnership with Bangalore based Microfinance institution Milaap, ASSET India Foundation has funded $100,000 in interest loans to ex devadasis (sex workers) in 37 villages in Karnataka to start income generating businesses so that their daughters and grand daughters won't have to enter the flesh trade. Though the devadasi system of dedicating the oldest girl to the goddess yellamma is outlawed, the practice still continues undeground. Belgaum based NGO M.A.S.S has more than 3,500 members. Business proposals ranging from purchase of cattle, purchase of an auto-rickshaw to opening a photo shop were submitted to ASSET/Milaap for evaluation and approval. Millap sent a video team to several of the borrowers' villages to interview the members of self help groups (SHG). Video clips will be posted in the next report.
2. We have facilitated sending children of M.A.S.S members to our Bangalore partner Unnati for the 70 day skills training and job placement.
3. ASSET has partnered with two major NGOs Made By Survivors (www.madebysurvivors.com) and Rescue Foundation (www.rescuefoundation.org) to provide English and computer training to girls in their shelters in Kolkata and Mumbai respectively.
4. We have facilitated MAST ( Market Aligned Skills Training) for girls from Made By Survivors shelters at the Anudip Foundation facilities in Kolkata.
5. A detailed proposal has been submitted to the Jain Society of Northern California for the construction of a Women Empowerment Center (WEC) in Kolkata. (Attached)
6. Photos of girls in the computer training program in Kolkata attached