Community development programme empowers sex workers and their children

It was a red-carpet event of a different kind. The temperatures were soaring at 39 degrees but the heat couldn’t stop the excitement. Bata Galli was alive and colorful. Children were seated in summery dresses and shirts. The ladies were excited and dressed in vibrant colors. A year or even six months ago one wouldn’t have imagined how a brothel could transform into a Community Development Program. The Thitali building in Bata Galli was officially inaugurated on March 26, 2022. 

Chief guests invited for this event were the Deputy Commissioner of Police Dr Priyanka Narnaware and UNADAP Director Dr Dominic Dixon.

37 women  and 19 children were enrolled in the program, 10 ladies from the brothel nearby and about 60 men and women from the neighborhood and stores  from the community, were present for the event. Others included the staff, families of the Thitali program and four NGOs that serve the community. A total of about 120 people participated in this event. Suhasini Daniel hosted the event and Dr Mathew talked about the journey of Thitali. Two ladies from the community spoke about the impact that Thitali has made on them. They boldly said that the Thitali program has helped instill hope and empowered them. The children enrolled in the program sang a special song “If you’re happy and you know it”. 

Three young ladies from the community were given their official ids as staff of the NGO. Dr Dominic gave them their IDs and this was indeed a proud moment for them as it gave them a new sense of confidence. 

Dr Priyanka in her speech said that she would be available for any help in the future. The program finally concluded with the inauguration of an ambulance for the community. The ribbon was cut by DCP Priyanka and then Thitali building ribbon was officially opened by Dr Dominic Dixon.

Thitali is a CDP that aims to empower and highlight the issues of women and children in the community. The pandemic made the ladies more aware of their lack of skills and an alternate income. Once a thriving, dark, brothel it was empty for a while and is now a building abuzz with the happy shouts of children, the booming voices of instructors and constant activity through the day.  It’s a one-stop place for medical help, an education program that tutors kids, helps with school readiness and has a smart learning classroom, a skills development program for women with provisions to learn skills and work as well. We continue to pray and hope that Thitali would continue  its work of transforming lives in society !

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