BOMBAY TEEN CHALLENGE WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE PROGRAM
Located in Mumbai, India, Kamathipura is the largest red light district in Asia. At various times there are as many as 70,000 women working in the brothels. The majority have been trafficked and as many as 80% are HIV+.
They may have been sold by their parents, deceived with promises of marriage or a lucrative job, or kidnapped and sold to brothel owners. Between 40 – 50% are believed to be under 18, with some victims as young as 9 years old. With incurred debts to a brothel madam they cannot pay, they will be victims of horrific forms of abuse to force them to work, repeated rape, lack of medical care and treatment, and no hope for a change in the future.
Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC) began in 1990 when founder and director, K. K. Devaraj, came to Mumbai with a passion to reach the young generation that was ensnared in drugs, gangs and prostitution. Today, BTC is one of the largest non-government organizations working in the field of health and education. Their work includes the rescue and rehabilitation of women involved in the sex trade industry and children at risk.
In 2008, Devaraj was the honored recipient of the internationally respected ‘Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice’ presented by the Harmony Foundation. In 2007, he was invited to meet the UN Secretary General at the Global Leaders Forum and participate in a discussion on achieving the millennium development goals. By invitation, he testified before US Congress on behalf of victimized children. In India, Bombay Teen Challenge has made unprecedented progress in building a relationship with the local government to call for accountability and advocate change in child poverty and trafficking in persons.
Bombay Teen Challenge first opened a women’s healthcare clinic in the red light district in 2003. Today, the medical clinic serving victims of the commercial sex trade sees around 300 patients a month for all healthcare related needs, particularly STD and HIV/AIDS treatment. As the only clinic in Mumbai that provides free Antiretroviral Treatment (ART), the medical team offers medical testing, and comprehensive individual HIV/AIDS care that includes regular monitoring, medicines, and nutrition.
Wellspring International aims to provide an annual grant of $16,487 USD to support their Emergency Fund. This fund will cover treatment for HIV and other STD related needs for women currently working in the Red Light District of Kamathipura. Treatment for TB, malaria, effects of untreated diabetes and heart related diseases may also be covered in this fund. In addition, the amount will cover the medical tests and medicines along with the vehicle expenses associated with helping in this area.
Please contact us for more information regarding this significant project.
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
BOMBAY TEEN CHALLENGE
April 2006 – present