In August 2017, Bihar was hit by one its worst floods in recent times. Apne Aap works with women and children in the red-light areas of Forbesganj in the Araria district of Bihar. We work with girls and women who are often immersed in poverty, are low-caste, and often uneducated, making them disportionately vulnerable to being targeted by traffickers. The households headed by 200 women we work with were destroyed in the floods, and it has led to an uptick in recruitment and targetting by traffickers of women and girls in the area. Women and girls already prostituted have suffered through an increase in indebtedness which has made them even more vulnerable than they already were to exploitation.
One of the households we work with in the red-light district of Araria is headed by Dolly. Dolly is from the Nat community, a small, marginalized muslim community where women and girls are often trapped in intergenerational prostitution. However, ten years ago Dolly convinced both her family and her husband Jabbar that prostitution was no dignified way to live. She then joined Apne Aap and began taking sewing classes at the Apne Aap Center. After learning how to sew, she applied for a loan with Apne Aap's help to start her own tailoring and sewing business. Dolly managed to build a good life and a modest home for herself, her husband, and their family after combining her income with her husbands. Dolly's husband Jabbar runs a small vegetable and fruit stand. When the floods devastated Bihar, Jabbar's vegetable and fruit stand, Dolly's home business and their home itself was swept away in the destruction. Their situation became dire, and they were afraid their daughter or Dolly herself would be forced into prostitution, so Dolly appealed to Apne Aap to help her rebuild her home.
Dolly is one of 35 women whose houses Apne Aap has rebuilt after the floods using funds raised around the world. 35 women like Dolly have been protected from traffickers and and their vulnerabilities to prostitution have been reduced- but there are still 165 more households to go. 165 more households have stories just like Dolly's, but many have it even worse. Traffickers and pimps have been more active in the community in the aftermath of the destruction, but Apne Aap aims to protect these households from them. We need more funds to rebuild the homes of the remaining 165 women, and we need the help of all of our friends and supporters at GlobalGiving to do so.
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