1 Jan 2011
In the past few months, Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC) has come under international scrutiny due to confusion with another NGO called Apne Aap Women Worldwide (AAWW), founded by Ruchira Gupta. On 2 November 2010, The Harvard Crimson, the daily student newspaper of Harvard University, published an article exposing the misuse of donor funds by Gupta and AAWW. As both organisations are often known as “Apne Aap”, there has been confusion on whether Apne Aap Women’s Collective is related to Apne Aap Women Worldwide in any way.
We would like to state that our organisation, Apne Aap Women's Collective (AAWC), is not in any way affiliated with Gupta or Apne Aap Women's Worldwide (AAWW). Although Gupta was closely associated with us at the time of our inception in 1998, we parted ways in 2002 for a number of reasons. Soon after, Gupta founded her own organisation with a similar name, Apne Aap Women's Worldwide, and continued referring to her organisation as “Apne Aap”. In the aftermath of the AAWW scandal, this naming confusion has caused serious misunderstandings about the identity and integrity of our organisation.
In order to address this issue, we have undergone an organisation-wide rebranding. Apne Aap Women's Collective will now be known as AAWC instead of Apne Aap. Furthermore, the programs for women, girls (formerly Sparrows), and toddlers will now be called Umeed (“hope”), Udaan (“flight”), and Umang”(“joy”), respectively. We hope that this rebranding will help the organisation effectively address the scandal and allow us to return to our rightful first priority – the provision of quality services to our members.
About Apne Aap Women’s Collective
Founded in 1998, Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC) serves the women, girls, and toddlers of the Greater Kamathipura Area, one of the largest and oldest red light areas in Asia. By providing its members with the tools and resources to create a better life, AAWC seeks to empower women who have been trafficked into brothel-based prostitution and to prevent intergenerational trafficking of girls and young children who grow up in the brothels. Since its inception, AAWC has served more than 1,100 women, 550 girls and 250 toddlers. Learn more at www.aawc.in.