Sonagachi is located in North Kolkata, in ward No: 18. It is one of the largest red-light areas in Kolkata. There are 10,000 women in prostitution.
The children are out on the streets, when their mothers entertain clients in the tiny rooms or are kept under the bed doused with sleeping pills if they are too small. Sometimes they are left with the madams who can often be cruel to them. They are also vulnerable to physical abuse from clients and local anti socials.
Often they are left unsupervised and seen roaming around the streets with moving vehicles posing a threat to their safety. There is no scope for education for them. This area lacks the social environment suitable for the holistic growth of the children. Moreover, the girl children live under the high risk of getting inducted to the flesh trade. Due to lack of awareness and the ignorance of alternatives as a means of livelihood, the children are forced into the exploitative life at a very young age unaware of violence and abuse they will have to face.
This is not only true in Sonagachhi but also in most of the red light areas in West Bengal.
In this background WIF decided to start drop-in-centres for the children of women in prostitution whose childhood are lost growing up in such a unhealthy environment. Thus Sonagachhi and Din Bazar centres were started in 2000 followed by Changrabandha centre in 2003.
To provide integrated services such as education, nutrition, health care, recreation for comprehensive development of children of women in prostitution.
Sonagachhi in Kolkata, Din Bazar redlight area in Jalpaiguri, Changrabandha in Cooch Behar.
No. of Beneficiaries:
The children have not only learnt the alphabets but also the numbers. WIF has provided educational materials such as books, charts, counting slates etc. The teacher and helper are from the community. The children are very regular and the mothers too are keen that the children go to school.
Nutrition is provided to the children everyday. Nutrition comprises of either sweet bun or a mixture of puffed rice and soaked gram or a salad or biscuits are given to the children on rotational basis.
Health check up at the centre is conducted once a month.
We believe in developing and working with networks at community, national and international levels with a rights based approach.