Udaan

Sahachari Foundation has been supporting AAWC and Udaan Project since 2011. Their support has helped AAWC in the running of a Day Program and Night Shelter. This has helped the girls to stay away for the "at risk areas" during the night and AAWC has been able to create a safe and healthy environment for them. Girls also attend the day program, where they are provided with a hot meal, tuitions, and vocational classes. AAWC is very thankful and humbled of Sahachari Foundation for showing their love and kindness in abundance.

"Udaan" is the Hindi word for "flight". Through this project, we empower girls in the red light area to know their rights and go for diverse and dignified career options, by developing their skill sets for aspirational professions, thereby equipping them to gain genuine socio-economic mobility, and, consequently preventing the inter-generational cycle of prostitution among daughters (ages 6-18) of women in brothel based prostitution.

Outreach. AAWC conducts daily visits to homes, schools, and boarding homes to monitor Udaan girls. Girls also attend monthly meetings to learn about important reports, workshops, and updates.

Education. Udaan girls are enrolled in a municipal school or private school and attend daily afterschool tutoring at the AAWC center. We hold meetings to review each student's holistic progress with her mother on a monthly basis and evaluate the girls using customized unit tests on a quarterly basis between school exams. When a member completes 12th standard, AAWC guides her through a Bachelor's or Master's program and helps pay for any private coaching fees.

Empowerment. Udaan girls develop self-esteem, discipline, talent, and leadership through various workshops on topics such as life skills (finance, health), professional skills (English, computers, CVs, job interviewing), creativity (painting, arts & crafts), fitness (Sports Day, dance), human rights (women's rights, environmentalism), and careers (law, film, medicine, finance, hospitality). Mentor-mentee programs are also provided to the Udaan girls to instill positive influence and provide them with role models away from the red light area. When they are ready to enter the workplace, AAWC guides them through the proper vocational certifications, internships, and job placement processes in professions like accounting, beauty, business process outsourcing, dance, hospitality management, luxury cuisine, medical compounding, nursing, photography, retail, social work, and teaching.

Select partners: American Bombay School, Association of Image Consultants International, Bank of Maharashtra, Bombay High Court, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, Domino's Pizza, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Indian Post Office, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Kids Postcard Project, Kotak Education Trust, Nair Hospital, Reserve Bank of India, Sir J.J. School of Art, Tandon Communications, Trident Hotel, Victory Arts Foundation, VP Road Police Station, Whistling Woods International Film Festival.

Finance. AAWC teaches financial literacy to instill a culture of saving that is largely absent in the red light district. We assist Udaan members in opening and maintaining saving accounts at the Indian Post Office until they have saved enough money to open an account with the Bank of Maharashtra.

Health. Udaan girls receive daily nutritional meals and supplements, monthly physical checkups, quarterly medical camps (general health, dental, vision, immunisations, malaria, cancer detection), and regular health workshops (hygiene, nutrition, reproductive health). A counselor helps them address personal and relationship issues like academic performance, career choices, puberty, family relationships, or sexual abuse. If HIV/AIDS care or hospital care is required, we provide hospital referrals and diligent follow-up on treatments and medication.

Select partners: BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Nair Hospital, KBH Bachooali Hospital, Proctor & Gamble, R.S. Nimkar Hospital, Shiamak Davar Institute, Smiles32 Foundation, United Way of Mumbai.

Recreation. Udaan girls develop healthy relationships with their peers and mentors through recreational activities like religious festivals (Hindu, Muslim, and Christian), theme park visits, carnivals, and secular celebrations (International Day of the Girl Child).

Shelter. Udaan girls who face particular unsafe home environments can stay at the AAWC overnight shelter. We also refer girls to partner shelter homes in suburban areas, where girls can grow up far away from the red light area.

Read our inspiring Udaan case studies »