Sahaara - Gifting Dreams!
Sahaara's History and Mission
In 1994, a group of church members, stirred by the overwhelming need of the poor and marginalized of the city, started Sahaara Charitable Society. Since 2000, Sahaara has worked with trafficked women and children in and around the red-light areas of urban Maharashtra.
In a society torn by inequality and injustice, Sahaara seeks to draw out the dream embedded in the hearts and lives of the underprivileged and create avenues for the fulfillment of their dreams. India Partners has been collaborating with Sahaara since 2007.
Sahaara “gifts” dreams to the child victimized in a perilous red-light area, to her trafficked mother benumbed by sexual violence, to the languishing prisoner, and to many more who persevere in the enkindling of dying dreams all across Maharashtra.
Sahaara reaches out to trafficked women and children through activities such as adult literacy, value education, awareness and providing testing for HIV/AIDS, as well as immunization clinics, pre-primary education, remediation assistance to school children, fun clubs, picnics and summer camps.
Sahaara believes that a helping hand of love and a continuum of services and opportunities is the key to transforming the dreams of the innumerable poor into realities.Interventions started with reaching out to children in the slums through the start of pre-primary education centers.
The following are currently a few of Sahaara’s projects:
Project Parivartan touches the lives of 350 trafficked women and children every year through healthcare, educational, vocational training, nutritional and counseling interventions. Sharan Sthan, a rehabilitation center for women exiting prostitution, gifts the exploited women the dream of freedom, dignity and a peaceful life. Parivartan is in the business of gifting a safe future in society to victims of trafficking!
Read one woman's story of recovery.
Anandalay is a home for daughters of trafficked women wherein they receive quality education, wholesome food and excellent accommodation under the committed care of a houseparent couple. Anandalay restores to these children their dream of a childhood that protects their innocence and nurtures them in love. Anandalay is in the business of restoring a happy childhood to the children of trafficked women!
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By the Numbers: the Sex Industry in India
These numbers have faces and names. Every statistic represents a real person who, just like you and me, is created and loved by God.
- More than 20 million sex workers in India 
- 35.47% are below 18 years of age. 
- 200,000 sex workers in Mumbai 
- HIV infection rate of sex workers in Mumbai – 50% in 1993 
- 80% of trafficked individuals in India are women and 50% are children 
- Every hour, four women and girls in India enter prostitution, three of them against their will. 
- The Causes of prostitution include: 
- Ill treatment by parents
- Bad company
- Family prostitutes
- Social customs
- Inability to arrange marriage
- Lack of sex education, media
- Prior incest and rape
- Early marriage and desertion
- Lack of recreational facilities, ignorance, and acceptance of prostitution
- Economic causes including poverty and economic distress
- Psychological causes including desire for physical pleasure, greed, and dejection
- 60% of prostituted women in Bombay's red-light district areas are infected with STDs and AIDS. 
- The girls have to borrow from moneylenders at an interest rate of up to 500%. They are perpetually in debt. 
 Ministry of Women & Child Development
 Ministry of Women & Child Development
 Human Rights Watch
 CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific
 Robert I. Freidman, "India’s Shame: Sexual Slavery and Political Corruption Are Leading to An AIDS Catastrophe," The Nation, 8 April 1996