Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District

by Village Volunteers
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
Educate and Shelter Children in Red Light District
New Light residents
New Light residents

Dear Donor,

This is just one success story of so many. We are grateful that the support to New Light is life changing. 

“I am Riya and I am a student of New Light Syamatara. Today, I am very proud and happy to state that I have been a student of this centre since its inception in 2003, 16th July and when it was known as the Dalit Centre.

Dalit, meaning "oppressed" in Sanskrit and "broken/scattered" in Hindi/Urdu, is a term for the members of lower castes in India. The term is mostly used for the ones that have been subjected to untouchability. Dalits are the manual scavengers, the removers of human waste and dead animals, leather workers, street sweepers and cobblers. The mere touch of a Dalit was considered "polluting" to a caste member. Thus, the concept of "untouchability" was born.

New Light set up a multi-functional shelter for the children of the Dalit community located behind the crematorium in Keoratala, Kolkata and till date, the shelter offers all the services to the targeted community that were originally offered at the Kalighat shelter. It was with the aspiration of changing the lives of the young ones in that community through education, health care, nutritional support, recreational facility and HIV/AIDS care that New Light set up this shelter.


In April 2017 the centre got a grand face-lift and there stood in front of us a brand new, expanded shelter for the children at the Keoratala grounds and the then Dalit Centre was now known as New Light Syamatara. Today the total number of children registered at Syamatara is 50 and all of them are beneficiaries of New Light.  
I am extremely proud of the fact that today; I am a student at New Light Syamatara. I take this opportunity to thank Urmi Ma’am from the bottom of my heart for giving me this opportunity and for giving the opportunity to many more oppressed children like me who today dare to dream and look forward to achieving their dreams. We love and respect you a lot, Ma’am. Would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my teachers at New Light who have stood beside and supported us throughout” – Riya, Class IX, Vidya Niketan on New Light Syamatara's 14th birthday celebration.

New Light is very proud to be part of these young people's journey. 

Thank you for your generosity in supporting the wonderful work of New Light shelters. 

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children at New Light
children at New Light

Dear Donor,

Thank you for donating in the past. New Light Shelter is a home of love. Considering the life challenges in a red light district, the children come to the shelter with great happiness as they enter the building that is always abuzz with activity. The goal is to educate, provide health care, and to feed the children to grow as any child deserves. The faces of the children are like any other children -.full of hope, love and eager to learn and be with other children. 

The biggest challenge that is faced every day is the cost of caring for so many children. Last year a Boys Home was opened to give the boys a better life as had been accomplished with the girls. Without the opportunity to go to school and develop respect for women, the boys would be street kids and their only way they could make a living would be to become a pimp or drug dealer.

The shelter was established for children to come while their mothers are working in one of the biggest red light districts in Kolkata. Before New Light, the children were in the streets, or sleeping under the bed of their mother.

When you walk into New Light, it feels like a "new light" comes over you and for the children who are exposed to the warmth of the workers and the stimulating atmostphere, we ask that people consider how important New Light is to breaking the chain of abuse and sexual exploitation .  Subscribing is a way to give something each month to give them the chance at a life free of violence. 

Thank you,

Shana

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At Rotary Club Leadership Award Ceremony
At Rotary Club Leadership Award Ceremony

Dear Donor,

Thank you for your continuing support of New Light in Kolkata. Child safety and security remains a matter of low priority in India. Recent research reveals that fifty percent of all children in India are abused either physically or sexually or both. What comes as a shock is that fifty four percent of those are boys covered in the shroud of denial.

 At New Light the need for a safe shelter is a top priority for boys and girls. In the lanes of many red light districts where the mothers need to work in the evenings and sometimes all night long children are often left with indifferent adult supervision or are totally unattended.

New Light began as a program that began with an evening shelter. Now the shelter has grown to include safe homes for both girls and boys where the children are educated and kept away from the evil influence always lurking. The beauty of New Light is that it is not just a safe space and home but is also a place filled with music, dance and art where the children express themselves creatively.  

The photo was taken as part of Rotary Young-Person Leadership Awards for youth14-30 year-olds. The New Light youth placed well. Barsha Sarkar, from Sonar Tori, secured the First prize in Solo Dance category and Second position in Debate. The group participation from New Light won the Second position in Drama and Third in Collage Making. Team New Light came in Second in overall participation.

Team New Light stood Second in Overall Participation. Kudos to the entire team!

Donations are what helps us keep the kids learning and breaking the cycle of abuse. The children love having volunteers too so if you are incluined, you can apply https://www.villagevolunteers.org/

Thank you!

Shana

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Urmi Basu celebrating with the boys
Urmi Basu celebrating with the boys

Dear Donor,

On November 14th we had a big celebration at New Light, India! The children at Khelaghar, New Lights new boys home, celebrated Children's Day and proudly celebrated Khelaghar’s 2nd birthday. The children sang and danced to celebrate the day. 

New Light in Kolkata completed two years in its effort to provide young boys of women who are in prostitution the opportunity to grow up in a safe and secure environment and realize their full potential. The Home provides safe shelter, formal and remedial education, counselling, comprehensive healthcare, nutritious meals, therapeutic, creative and recreational opportunities to the male children, aged between 4 to 18 years of prostitution workers. These services are imperative to ensure their physical safety, and provide them the opportunity to realize their full human potential. Boys growing up the influence of men being pimps, drug dealers and who witness abuse of women are very receptive to the love and care provided to them. This above all is a way to break the chain of sex work and abuse. 

We would like to thank all of our supporters, donors, and volunteers who believed in our common goal and aim to assist  as many children and young adults as possible into the mainstream by providing formal education; job oriented training and different vocational activities so that they can choose a life with dignity. 

On Giving Tuesday, November 29th, please consider New Light to help us educate and shelter vulnerable children for a 50% match or subscribe to a montly donation to be matched 200%. 

Thank you,

Shana

 

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 Dear Donor,

Thank you for your support in the past. With all of the NGOs to support, we are honored that you chose New Light.

Why is New Light so extraordinary? In a word, Urmi Basu. Urmi set up a small NGO in 2000 with very little seed money. She called the program New Light because it was a new day and it brough light into the lives of those who lived with abuse and without hope for the future. 

Today, New Light is a comprehensive community development project that provides shelter, education, health care, nutritional support, HIV care and the opportunity to live a life free of abuse, violence and stigma to more than two hundred children of sex workers and more than two thousand women  in the Kalighat red light district. Urmi was featured in the documentary Half the Sky based on the novel by New York Times columnist Nicollas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. Urmi lives in  Kolkata, India and fights for social justice for the marginalized community of sex workers / women in prostitution and survivors of trafficking every day of her life.

All of this activity puts huge strain on fundraising but the success stores are nothing short of little miracles for the children who are studying and are no longer caught up in the cycle of intergenerational prostitution and desparation. For the most part, the community does’t consider that children born in those areas deserve equal opportunities, so Urmi is their champion to provide education and guidance in career building.  

The strain on Urmi is something I've witnessed as her friend and partner and yet her passion for justice is for all of us who witness her work, stunning heroism. 

Please join me in supporting this wonderful program. We are hoping that even a small monthly subscription will add up to give Urmi the support she so desparately needs to create a world of opportunity to so many precious women and children. 

Thank you!

Shana

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Organization Information

Village Volunteers

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Shana greene
Seattle, Washington United States
$14,686 raised of $20,000 goal
 
285 donations
$5,314 to go
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