The red light district Bowbazaar attracts customers with low income in particular. The money that the women receive for their "services" is therefore hardly enough to survive. Safe hygiene practices and health care options are scarce and increase the risk of disease. Women are often oppressed and financially exploited by men.
Our Indian partner organisation SKHM has very good working contacts in the district. SKHM has been working in Bowbazaar for many years and has been able to win the trust of the residents. An essential part of the project with SKHM is awareness-raising work. By the end of 2022, 1,800 information brochures will be developed and distributed in the district. The aim is to provide residents with information on safe hygiene practices and governmental and non-governmental health, care and protection services. The project also has a core group of ten women and five men who will work with local clubs and community leaders to discuss issues related to the rights of older citizens, violations of human dignity, and other community concerns. A total of 36 health check-up camps will be conducted during the project in the so-called "Safe Space", a shelter for women. Counselling sessions are also offered in the "Safe Space".
Within the district, two collectives, one consisting of 50 women and the other consisting of 30 men, are formed as part of our project. Through regular meetings between the men's and women's collectives, tensions and conflicts within the project area are discussed openly and equally. In addition, the members meet to develop plans for the establishment of micro-enterprises. The group also discusses ideas for the prevention of sexual violence. The collectives further serve as contact points for other residents of the neighbourhood. The positive image created by this direct and non-violent communication between the collectives serves as a role model for other members of the community. In this way, the project promotes mutual tolerance and will reduce violence against women in the long term.
Another part of the project is the establishment of a total of six self-help groups of survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in District 24 Parganas North. These support groups are primarily concerned with financial inclusion, social empowerment and the protection of their members and of other survivors of violence in the community.
|Project||Trainings and orientation events on topics such as self-protection, non-violent communication, physical and mental health, as well as financial management and development-friendly use of New perspectives for residents in the red light district Bowbazaar|
|Place/Region||Bezirk Bowbazaar, Kolkata, Westbengalen, Indien|
|Partner||South Kolkata Hamari Muskan (SKHM)|
|Target group||Women and men who live and work in the red light district|
|Duration||2020 - 2022|