Medical Camp In Red Light Area
On Monday, 17th of February, Purnata hosted a medical camp in the red light area of Mumbai. The camp was a huge success! Throughout the afternoon, people of the area - mostly women - and staff members passed through Purnata’s drop in center within the red light area to receive a free medical check-up and free testing for Hepatitis B & C.
There were about 47 people who
participated in the camp. The Hepatitis testing was conducted courtesy of United Way Mumbai and their volunteers under the program SEHAT. This program works to prevent and educate the community on general infections, with a focus on Hepatitis B & C.
Rescue Team's Trip To The Border
Purnata’s head of prevention and rescue for the Mumbai branch, Ms. Anagha Khandagle, traveled with a volunteer to the southeast border of Maharastra to check in with a case of a kidnapped teenage girl that had been reported. The girl had been reported missing back in January, but the police originally were not taking the claim seriously, until our staff member called the police department and convinced them to look into it. She then spent three days in a local village where she helped refile a FIR (First Information Report) properly. After this new filing is completed, the investigation on the whereabouts of the girl can begin.
While she was on her trip, she was able to do some networking and visit the red light areas of Miraj and Sangli (two cities in Maharashtra). She states she was surprised to see the girls from the area running their own organization and not allowing any other NGO’s to come in and stop their business.
Foster Care Conference in Pune
Lifesong for Orphans and Purnata are partnering to work on the issue of foster care. Caleb & Hannah Ellis, based in Mumbai from Lifesong, along with Ms. Anagha Khandagle (Staff with additional charge to support foster care work currently), Ms. Emma Skirvin (Child Reintegration Consultant) along with our ED Mr. Aaboo Varghese were part of a South Asia
Consultation by World Without Orphans (WWO) in Pune on the 25th of February.
There were representatives from Nepal, Bangladesh, Hong Kong & Sri Lanka apart from various parts of India.
Ian Forber Pratt who is part of Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI), a pioneer and champion on alternative forms of care for children, particularly
foster care, was the main resource person. The highlight for us as a team was a dinner meeting with him, picking his brains and learning from his vast experience. Purnata intends to have CERI allow Ian to help mentor Purnata develop our Alternative Care strategy and implementation.
Marium is one of our dear sisters from across the border who took the bold step of leaving her life of bondage for a life of dignity. We had helped rescue her daughter Rohima from Barielly, UP last year. Now that her daughter's repatriation orders have come, we need to do a 164 statement of the child in the next three months before she can be sent home.
Meanwhile, there is a sad turn of events with Marium where she has been diagnosed with uterus cancer. She is in a very difficult situation where, for various reasons, she is unable to receive treatment and help. We are working hard knocking at the doors of the court to ensure that she gets all provisions for healing.