"She took the journey From despair to hope, Shhh Shh... slow down, She is learning to cope, New breaths of trust Strengthen her lead She reigns over life With her newfound Umeed" (Her Success Story)
Umeed quite literally translates into hope. Hope for the women in brothel-based prostitution in and around Mumbai. With this program we strive to help women attain physical, psychological and economic wellbeing. We begin the cycle of change at a pace they are comfortable with. We help the women develop coping and earning capabilities so that they can permanently exit the world of prostitution.
We begin with identifying potential beneficiaries for Umeed. Our outreach workers gradually build a rapport and inform the women about AAWC’s services. After their enrollment in our program, we work with the understanding that the nature of the problems our beneficiaries face, is not merely complex but is also constantly changing. With continued field visits, monthly meetings, area activities and center activities, our outreach workers interact with the aim of better understanding the women’s needs. Individual attention, sensitivity and confidentiality is key.
Treatment for STIS, HIV, AIDS, and Tuberculosis is prioritized with utmost urgency. Apart from hospital referrals, subsidized hospital care and medication, daily nutrition supplements, first aid, regular medical camps and health assessments are also provided. We conduct medical camps and health workshops on hygiene, child health, maternal health etc. and every beneficiary receives counseling to address prevailing personal issues like substance abuse, toxic relationships, violence, sexual health, childcare, alternative employment opportunities, etc.
One of the major obstacles that keep the women stuck in prostitution is their lack of financial literacy. There is no culture of saving in the community, hence the women fall prey to the clutches of long-term debts from money lenders. We instill in them the habit of saving by helping them open and maintain a savings account, educating them about various government schemes and the benefits. We support and hand hold each beneficiary through all bank processes until she gradually learns to independently manage her account and finances.