Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snehalaya remembers Major Sandeep Unnikrishanan

Ahmednagar,18 Nov.

"If we want to make India a great nation, then we have to prepare ourselves for a great sacrifice. Stop mere admiration and start practising the values of those who were fearless in death while protecting the country" said Mr.K.Unnikrishnan, father of late Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who died while fighting with terrorists on 26th Nov.2008 in Mumbai.

31 years old Sandeep was the only son of Mrs.Dhanalaxmi and Mr.K.Unnikrishnan. The parents  organized a bicycle rally "Tribute to Real National Heros" starting from India Gate, New Delhi on 26th Oct. to reach Gate way of india, Mumbai on 26th November.

During the rally, they were  interacting with the youth inspiring them with the work and philosophy of armed forces. Snehalaya family gave a warm welcome to them and honored with a Scroll of Honor in presence of imminent citizens of the city. They 500+ audience included district police chief Krishna Prakash, Satish Kane Editor of Daily Samachar, several freedom fighters, NGOs and the media. 

Mr.Unnikrishnan shared the childhood days of late Sandeep.Youth volunteers of Snehalaya accompanied them on bicycles till the boundries of Ahmednagar.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shobha Narayan's take on Donations, Child sex offenders and Snehalaya

Shoba Narayan writes in her recent article in Live Mint
" When you donate to your favorite charity, don’t do so anonymously. Put down your name and a number. Tell the world, not because you want to brag but because it will spur others to give "

She goes on to say: 
... Putting your name and a number beside a charity’s name instantly gives it credibility and subliminally increases the amount of other donor cheques. It will cause others to say, “Oh, Ramya gave a lakh to Vanchit Vikas. Maybe I should give at least Rs. 10,000 instead of Rs. 5,000, especially since I am from Pune.”
On the flip side, charitable organizations should persuade donors to allow them to put down names and amounts. Rather than releasing a bald list of donor names without any accompanying amount, the NGO donor list should look like this: “Mrs Kesliwal: Rs. 1 lakh; Ms Archana: Rs. 2,000; Mr R. Jhunjhunwala: Rs. 10 crore; Mr Anand: Rs. 700.” Anonymous donations have less of an impact because when people are considering a charity, they want to know who else gave, and how much".

This is what she had to tell about Snehalaya
" Snehalaya, goes where angels fear to tread and confronts the basest of human instincts pretty much on a daily basis. It comforts children whose innocence has been destroyed, and works to rehabilitate prostitutes with compassion"

In the article, Shoba whole heartedly praises the efforts of volunteers and social workers who dared to take on the child sex offenders and fight the legal battle to get them to conviction. 
"2,500 other fearless people, including social activist Anna Hazare, and local women’s activists groups, marched with Snehalaya to bring these criminals to book. She writes that  child sex offenders are the lowest of the low"

You can read the full article here

Celebration of Diwali..


1300 children from various orphanages, slums, red light areas and of special need have enjoyed DIWALI together in Snehalaya. Lions Club sponsored this unique event.  Mr. Krishna Prakash, District Police chief has spend about 3 hours, danced with kids and inspired them to decide the goal of life.  

Wedding in Snehalaya

Ahmednagar,19 oct.
Wedding of Rekha and Manoharlal Dadi was celebrated yesterday in snehalaya.Rekha is born ,brought up in snehalaya .she took the education of home science and tailering.Manoharlal is a graduate and working in a jwellery manufacturing unit as a marketing head.This was the     77 th marriage arranged in snehalaya. who le Dadi family,our past and present students,our married daughters and their families were present at the occassion.But fortunately Dr.Bharti Vikas Amte has graced and blessed the ceremony by singing marriage songs and a song written by Baba Amte. Those ,who are interested in marriage with the daughters of snehalaya , can contact to our marriage counsellor on 91-9011020176.

Shradha’s Life Saved

We are very happy to inform you that today Ms. Shraddha Sathe, the inmate of Snehalaya has successfully undergone the major surgery in KEM Hospital, Mumbai.  She was suffering from Budd Chirai Syndrome from last two months. She was admitted in KEM on 20th, October 2010 (referred by Dr. Abhijit Pathak after one month treatment in Swasthya Hospital).   There was severe pain in her abdomen; hence she could not even sit properly.

The team of doctors including Dr. Kranti Kumar Rathod, Dr. Hemant Deshmukh,         Dr. Prithvi and Dr. Ishan was engaged in the surgery for more than two hours between 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm.  Now she has been shifted in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for next 24 hrs.  doctors says that she is out of danger now and she will improve within next 24 hrs. Then she can be shifted to general ward.

Shradha’s operation was planned two days back on 27th, October 2010.  She was in Operation Theater for whole day with all the necessary preparations, doctors were ready wearing the clothes (Costumes) for operative. But the operation was canceled only because of unavailability of Anesthetists.  Snehalaya’s social worker Mr. Kundan Pathare met and complained to the higher authority Dr. Sanjay Oak(the Dean) and Dr. Pravin Balgal (Sr. Administrator)  of the hospital and requested to order the concerned Medical Officers for immediate operation.  Then the whole system moved and the concerned authority gave priority for Shradha’s operation, otherwise they had given the date 26th, November 2010 for operation and it might be the high risk for her survival.  Now she is well and her post operative treatment has been started. 

The well wishers and donors have given good response to the appeal of Snehalaya to save Shraddha’s life.  Snehalaya is heartily grateful to all the donors and supporters for their kind and timely support.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Appeal for donations to save Shraddha's life.

Shraddha Gulabrao Sathe is an orphan girl in Snehalaya Rehabiliation center.  As a  dedicated student, she took up a vocational course in Nursing at Auxilium Community College, Savedi, Ahmednagar.  She successfully completed the course and joined Dr. Hemant Deshpande Hospital for internship, 6 months ago. She has been a very prompt and skilled Nurse and was promoted in a very short time for being a  caring and patient friendly.

Last month, she started complaining of stomach pains and Dr. Deshpande diagnosed that she is suffering from a rare condition of acute Budd Chirai Syndrome. She has  been taking treatment at Swastya Hospital. Because of accumulation of fluid, a condition called Ascites  she is unable to even sit, because of the pain.

Every six hours the fluid has to be extracted out of her abdomen in a painful procedure just to keep her alive. She has not able to take any food for the last 30 days. Now her condition has worsened and we have admitted her to K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai under observation of Dr. Deshmukh (International Radiologist).  She has been advised to undergo  a major surgery within next 7 days.  The doctor believes that she can survive and can lead a normal life post surgery.  The estimated expense of the operation is Rs. 2.5 Lakhs. (Approx US $ 5,000)

While Snehalaya tries to provide the best possible care for all our inmates, we are unable to manage this huge unplanned expense for one inmagte. We appeal to all our well wishers to donate generously to save the life of Shradha, who is fighting for survival. 

You can send your donations by sending  a cheque to KEM hospital and mention the patient name (Ms. Shraddha Gulabrao Sathe).  The address is KEM Hospital, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel. Mumbai 400012. India.  Phone # +91 22 2413 6051 

Alternatively, you can send your donations to Snehalaya directly. This will ensure you get the tax benefit for your donation.   Donations to Snehalaya can be  made by any of the following means.

By Cheque / Demand draft 

Please make the payment by cheque or demand draft in in favor of 'Snehalaya' payable at Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra. 
Send the cheque / demand draft by post to below address

Snehalaya Bhavan,
Opp Chitra Theatre, 
Near Mahatma Gandhi Maidan, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India. 414001.

Telephone: + 91 241 2327593, + 91 241 2327555,+ 91 241 2778656

Fax: + 91 241 2323772

By Bank Transfer (In country Donations)

Bank Name: HDFC Bank

Branch: Market Yard Branch, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India

Account Number: 01811000053339

Name of Account holder: Snehalaya

Type of account: Savings Account

9 digit MICR number : 414002001

RTGS/IFSC Code: HDFC0000181

By Bank Transfer (Foreign Donations)

Bank Name: State Bank of India

Branch: Main Branch, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra,  India

Account Number: 11117726495

Name of Account holder : Snehalaya

9 digit MICR number : 414002001

Type of account: Current Account

SWIFT Code/ Remittance Instructions: SBININBB507

Monday, October 18, 2010

A MUTE march by Snehalaya to express the voice of civil society

Ahmednagar 15 th Oct, 2010
A MUTE march organized by Snehalaya expressed unrest in the civil society very loudly yesterday. The burning issues of adulterated milk, sand looting from rivers, the conditions of the basic amenities in slum; the harassment of sex workers  were the major issues addressed by this MUTE March. About 800 civil society members and several NGOs joined this unique march to district Collectorate  office.

This mute march, yet again highlighted the long standing demands of the district civil society. 1) Design a  holistic project for rehabilitation of prostitutes. 2)  Take strong action against the sellers of adulterated milk 3) Stop the sand lobby and miners from illegal excavation of sands from the river beds 4) provide basic facilities in the slums.

           The public meeting at Collectorate was addressed by Milind Kulkarni, Ambadas Chavan, Jaya Magar, Meenatai Shinde, Sangita Shelar. Adv.Shyam Asava read the application to government.  Mr.Deepak Papdeja of M.R. Organisation, Dr.Sunil Bothe of doctors organization, Mr.Milind Gandhe of Vivekanand Pratishthan., Adv.Gaffar Shaikh of Yatimkhana,  Mr.Vinod Bothra of Merchant organization also addressed on the occasion.

         Mr. Nanasaheb Bothe,  Additional Collector had detailed discussions with agitators.  He assured the protesting people that he would convey the demands  to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to take appropriate action. We eagerly wait to see the outcome of this assurance.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snehalaya' Himmat Gram project for rehabilitation of victim women. Police chief supports the cause.

Ahmednagar, 1st Oct. 2010,

Mr. Krushna prakash , 
District police chief, Ahmednagar
"The Police will not allow the brothels, will take strong actions against the brothel keepers, pints, procurers and on clients in case of minor victim under the PITA (prevention of immoral trafficking) act. We would like to support the unique initiatives of Snehalaya for the Rehabilitation and empowerment of victim women", said Mr. Krishna Prakash, the District Police Chief of Ahmednagar.
Mr. Krushna Prakash  
Planting a tree at Himmat gram
Mr. Krishna Prakash was addressing a huge gathering of victim women in red light areas of Ahmednagar district. More than 400 women were present from all parts of Ahmednagar district. These women have raised issues of their survival as all the red light areas are closed since 3 months following 30 police raids on brothels. For the first time in the district, the Police have used PITA act against the brothel keepers than against victim women. This is dramatic change in the attitude of police in addressing the issue. 

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Commercial sex workers have complained that no concrete steps were taken by the government for their rehabilitation till this date. All women have unanimously agreed to give up prostitution if they support by their shelter and jobs. Smt. Jaya Jogdand said that politicians, bureaucrats and sugar baron have ammassed thousands of acres of land in the district but the exploited women have no place to live.  The women  and Snehalaya have submitted more than 3 dozan proposals for the land. The Smt. Meena shined, Gaeta More, Suita Unawake also expressed similar feelings.

Snehalaya along with this women have submitted several applications to government. To start the process of rehabilitation Snehalaya has given 2 pieces  of land (of 1000 sq. feet each) to 2 victim women in prostitution to create the new life  in the project Himmat Gram.  Along with shelter, the women will be provided free treatment for de-addition, water, electricity, and ration till they find an employment .  Snehalaya has decided to share 2 acres of owned land among 80 women. For the first time the NGO is taking the direct action and to shift the women from red-light areas to normal human life by assuring a right over land.   Snehalaya is hopeful about the experiment.  Himmatgram project will created a developed self sustained village  with  it's own work in Agriculture, Horticulture, Dairy, Nursery Unit, pipeline from water storage tank. Snehalaya needs financial recourses to shoulder this challenge.


Monday, October 4, 2010

More than two thousand well wishers attend the Snehalaya's annual award ceremony

Ahmednagar , 27th September, 2010 
More than 2000 well wishers, past students, volunteers and Donors of Snehalaya were present on annual get-together and award ceremony.  Eminent personalities from all walks of life were present at the occasion. Padmabhushan Dr.K.H.Sancheti (renowned Orthopedic surgeon from Pune)     ,Mr. Raju Shetty, (Member of Parliament and leader of Farmer's movement), Mr. Baban Pachpute (Guardian Minister,  Ahmednagar District), Dr. P.Anbalagan (District Collector, Ahmednagar),Dr. Bapu Kandekar (Heart Surgeon and M.D of Noble Hospital and Research centre) were among the participants. Dr.Sancheti has inaugurated the Exhibition of various projects of Snehalaya in Alliance Auditorium. 
Background of Snehalaya Award Ceremony
 On this occasion , the  several selfless grass root social workers were honored with  various  awards. Each awards includes Rs. 11 thousands , a scroll of honor and a memento.  This was the 10th year of the award ceremony which began with a fund donated veteran Social worker Mr. Madhusudan alias Mama Kaundinya. He was the principal of Sangamner College for 38 years which is established by him. Mr. Kaundinya has distributed his entire  lifetime earnings including his house and farm at Sangamner to 11 worthy NGOs, including Snehalaya. At Snehalaya this fund is used to encourage like minded volunteers and NGOs This year following social workers were selected .
1-Mr.Anshu Gupta(Goonj Institution ,New Delhi  ) - 'Sane Guruji award' for innovative  grass root social work.
 2-Smt.Sudhatai Lodha (Satya sadhana Mahila Mandal, Pune) - 'Mahamanav Baba Amte Award' for remarkable work of  social change .
3- Mrs. Jyoti Pthania (Chaitnya Mahila Mandal, Bhosari,Pune) - 'Com.Godavari Parulekar Award' for working for betterment of  neglected girls and women .
4-Mr. Rajeev Pandit-(Jividha institution working in Sahyadri mountain ranges ) - 'Dr. Dhananjayrao  Gadgil award' for Rural development and environment protection .
5-Mr.Raju Shetty (Founder of Swabhimani Shetakari Sanghatana, Maharashtra and Member of Parilament) - 'Prof. Madhu Dandawate award' for the ideal parliamentarian
6- Mr.Vijay Dhopavakar (D.Y.S.P , in charge  of anti corruption dept.) - 'Anna Hazare Anti corruption crusader award' for outstanding work to curb the curruption .
7-Dr.Ashwini Jojara( Sahyog India Institution , Jammu and Kashmir) - Freedom fighter 'M.V Devchakke Award' for strengthening the spirit of freedom struggle .
8- Mrs. Pushpalata Ranbagul (Snehjyoti Project of Snehalaya) - 'Late.Lata Pawar Atma parivatrtan Award' for changing own life and becoming the role model for other women .
9- Mr. Ajay Kale( Snehalaya  rehabilitation centre) - 'Govardhandasji Gujar award' for dedicated volunteering in Snehalaya .

 All the recipients  shared their experiences and their work. 
Dr.Sancheti said that he was successful only because he never forgets his starved  child hood.  Mr. Raju Shetty told that he was a small farmer who lost his father very early He was moved by the the pitiable condition of farmers and their exploitation. He was inspired by Sharad Joshi , a farmer leader and founder of Shetkari Sanghatana. Later he has formed his own political party and organization named Swabhimani Shetakari Sanghatana. Twice he was elected to  Maharashtra legislative assembly and in 2010 was elected to the 'Loksabha'.    
Mr.Shetty told that he wants to represent the NGOs in the parliament. He would happily share his good office and position of M.P. to solve the problems of the common people through the NGOs. He has expressed optimism that strong networks and united actions  of the honest NGOs will influence the programs and the practices of the government at large extent.

Mr.Babanrao Pachpute, Guardian Minister of Ahmednagar District appreciated the work of Snehalaya,  while Dr. Kandekar said that Snehalaya is pride of Maharashtra .He felt proud to preside the function and was moved to see various activities of Snehalaya. 

Mrs. Bagul said that the prostitutes are treated as secondary citizen of the country. Government offers several facilities to dalits, trials ,and other weaker sections of the society while forced sex workers who were living in worse conditions had no recourse to government protection or rehabilitation. She gave an application to Mr. Shetty and Mr. Pachpute to help the exploited commercial sex workers of Maharashtra

From Snehalaya, Mr.Milind Kulkarni , Sandiop Kusalkar, Dagadu Lomate, Ajit Kulkarni , Ambadas Chavan and Anil Gawade spoke at the occasion.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Landmark achievement of Snehalaya. Two life terms for 20 accused in the case of trafficking & sexual exploitation of a child

Ahmednagar 25 September 2010

This is the greatest legal achievement of Snehalaya.  After a 4 year legal battle, Snehalaya succeeds in getting conviction of 20 high profile individuals who were exposed in a brutal case of gang rape, trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. In a landmark judgement all the 20 accused were sentenced to  double life term  imprisonment and additional fine to cover rehabilitation of the victim.

The landmark Conviction

District and sessions court judge Makarand D. Keskar on Monday, 20th September 2010 convicted 20 people to two life terms in the high – profile case of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of a child, which had rocked the state in 2006.  The judge also fined all the convicts Rs. 10,000/- each for every section they were charged with, failing which they will have to undergo additional jail term of three months to five years.  Snehalaya has received a massive appreciation by judicial circles, media, NGO’s, police department and the well wishers.  Snehalaya is optimistic that this historical judgment will create a threat of law among the child traffickers, abusers, customers, pimps, brothel and hotel owners and among all thinking of child abuse.

Ahmednagar child line, has also accompanied Snehalaya in the strong follow up of the case.

A total of 25 people comprising police and Government officers, local political leaders, lawyers,  merchants and hotel owners, Industrialists have been booked in the case. However, the main accused, Sheela Bargal, died a couple of months after the case was registered in February 2006 due to HIV.  Three suspects who were the bigwigs in state level flesh trade and human trafficking are still absconding.

The verdict against another accused, Satish Bansi Pakhare, has been postponed to December 2010 since he is in hospital following a serious accident.

The 20 convicts have been identified as 1). Hardeek Lakamichand Jaggad (25), 2). Aakash Subhash Rathi (23), 3). Tukaram Gena Misal (40),          4). Balkishan Premraj Goel (36), 5). Ramesh allies Ramakant Rajaram Barkase (41), 6). Ajay Sudhakar Kate (32), 7). Harjeetsingh Jodhsingh Rajpal (40),           8). Aaba allies Dnyandev Bhagchand Gondkar (46), 9). Ramrao Mohanitaj Dengale (54), 10). Abdul Haq Fakir Mohammad Kureshi (37), 11). Chetan Popatlal Bhalgat (34), 12).  Rajendra Shivajirao Thorat (32), 13). Ravindra Shivajirao Thorat (32), 14). Ramakant Ramrao Dengale (22), 15). Pappu alias Aatmaram Ramrao Dengale (24), 16). Ashok Babasaheb Kasar (35), 17). Ruchin Sharad Mehata (22), 18). Vasant Mangu Pavra (40), 19). Vilas Babasaheb Karale (32), 20) Raghunath Ramnath Zolekar (38).

 A large crowd of about eight hundred people gathered in the court premises on Monday morning to hear the verdict. This included the volunteers of Snehalaya, team members of Child Line, lawyers from all over the district, the relatives and friends of accused, their supporters, corporators, political leaders, etc.  After the judge pronounced the accused guilty, the police immediately whisked them away and photographers were not allowed to take their pictures.  All the 25 people have been charged with gang rape of a minor girl after luring and kidnapping her with the promise of giving money, blackmailing and threats.  The 14 years girl was raped in various lodges in Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Nimgaon Jali and Dhule etc.

A Victory for Snehalaya's efforts

This case was exposed by Snehalaya in Ahmednagar, following a tip off.  Snehalaya convinced the victim to file a police complaint at the Tophakhana police station of Ahmednagar.  Hence the C.R. No. 50 was registered on 24th February 2010.  Since several local politicians and influential traders policeman etc.  were involved in the abuse, the case was handed over to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which had filed a charge sheet.

Special Public prosecutor Vijay Sawant has played a major role in the conviction.  Convicts were punished under section 376(2)(g) gang rape, 120(b), 376(rape), 120(b) and section 5(a)(1)(d) of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (Pita) and 366 (kidnapping).

The convicts have been asked to pay a fine of Rs.10,000 each for every section under which he was booked.  Fifty percent of the fine amount will be used for rehabilitating the victim, the hearing lasted for more than four years and 38 witnesses were examined.  The volunteers of Snehalaya’s Mukti Vahini Team, (a group of youth volunteers) were involved in actual rescuing a minor from the flesh trade and family reintegration of the victim.  The team Snehalaya has courageously played the uncommon major role in the case by standing as punch & witnesses in this case in spite of serious attempts of bribing and the life threats by organized and politically sheltered criminal gangs from local and various other places.  The judge and the lawyer Mr. Sawant have solely credited “Team Snehalaya” for this land mark conviction in the historical case of child trafficking and her commercial sexual exploitation. 

A long legal battle

From F.I.R. to conviction, this has been a long legal battle, and the story, no less thrilling  than a movie. Snehalaya's  Child Line team and Snehalaya’s Mukti Vahini worked together on this issue with patience and courage. 
At 8.30a.m. On 23rd February 2006, a rickshaw driver from Maliwada area of Ahmednagar came to Snehalaya’s office with a missing complaint of his 14 years old daughter.  She was studying in 9th standard in one of the reputed schools in the city.  She was good enough in studies but extraordinary in sports activities and oratory skills.   A driver had one son and one another elder daughter.  Unfortunately, this rickshaw driver lost his wife 4 years ago due to suspicious death.  

While this discussion was going on, a widow came to office by 9 a.m. She had a complaint that a woman and gang of goons are harassing her family.  They are forcing her 16 years old younger daughter to go with them everyday for the so called 'job of marketing'. Information from  rickshaw driver and a widow was found to have same links when analyzed by Anil Gawade, Ambadas Chawan, Hanif Shaikh, Ajay Wabale, team members of Snehalaya.  Both the parents hade given a complaint in writing along with the photographs of their daughters. Both the girls hade not returned to home since last 72 hours. The matter of these two girls was found linked with each other because both the complaints were giving the same references of the vehicles and involved persons.  Both the parents hade taken the names of Sheela Bargal, Ramu Salve, Ramesh Barkase, as the suspected traffickers.   Snehalaya  team was working in red light areas, against the trafficking and use of the children for the flesh trade.  Because of this background, the team realized that the criminals are the suppliers of the children to the private customers at all locations in the state.  

Snehalaya and Child Line team informed the matter to Mr. Milind Kulkarni, then Honorary Director of Child Line and other close associates of Snehalaya.  A complaint of missing was first registered to Police station and then our team members have started a massive search for these girls.  The team located the car on north part of Ahmednagar on the Pipe Line Road.  The car was chased and informed to whole team and police.  But the police couldn’t reach at the spot in time.  The car driver tried to run away with the girls and traffickers, the Mukti Vahini and Child Line team caught them by 1 p.m... 

Then along with their parents, the victim girls and the traffickers were brought to childline office. Then the team started discussions simultaneously but separately with each one.  Both the girls told that Sheela Bargal and others were forcing them for sexual intercourse every day with many people at various locations.  The minor girls told us that they couldn’t tell about the exploitation and torture to their families because they were afraid of breaking their education. Secondly the girl were threatened that they would be  exposed with their obscene photographs and video clips.  

Then with a documentation and written compliant, the team reached to Mr. Sunil Ramanand, then District Police Chief and presented the victim girls, their parents, the key trafficker Sheela Bargal. Mr. Ramanand inquired about the matter in detail with the victims and ordered Mr. Ramakant Jawale, then Deputy Chief of Police to register the complaints under the clauses of rape, immoral trafficking prevention act, etc... Two separate cases (C.R. No. 50 & 51) were registered in Tophkhana police station in Ahmednagar.  Mukti Vahini team presented the mobiles of traffickers.  Police recovered more then 300 numbers of the customers for children.  This was a tip of ice burg.  Our team insisted to take a cognizance of every mobile call and investigation of each one if he had a sex with these minors.  When police called these numbers, found that most of the people were the high profile and influential.

High profile politics and pressure

  Then this information was leaked and the pressure politics started.  MLA’s, MP’s and Ministers started calling police officials. They also started threatening the victims, their families and Snehalaya volunteers along with the organized criminal gangs .  Their main argument was the minor girls are the prostitutes.  Snehalaya gave full protection to victims and their families.  Our team has boosted the morale of the families and convinced that if the rapists were not booked, then they will spoil the lives of many children along with these victims.  The team Snehalaya helped police to catch 22 accused.  Our team was working 24 X 7 for 28 days with police in this mission. 

 The stories on how we caught each accused is a similar to many  thrilling and horror novel.   Many times accused have raised pistols and some times hundreds of their supporters have opposed the arrest violently.  Every day,  team members and the Snehalaya family were receiving life threatening calls. The relatives of accused have offered lacks of rupees to withdraw from the case and tried to hostile our team members.  But our team has fought the battle bravely, registered their witnesses strongly.  The criminal gangs and politicians tried a lot to malign the image of Snehalaya.  But the conviction has answered every allegation.  This is the judgment in the C.R. No. 50.  Still the Judicial process is awaited in the C.R. No. 51.  In C.R. No. 51 there are 10 accused. It means in this matter of 2 minor girls, the case was registered against 35 persons while the records of mobile of the traffickers and procurers indicates the list of more than 300 satisfied customers.  

A victim’s father turns hostile

There were several interesting episodes to the main story.  The accused managed one daily news paper and published the names, addresses and all the details of the victim girls, maligning and wrongly accusing their families on the front page. Snehalaya gave a compliant to the police, court and the press council of India against the news paper.  FIR was registered against the editor.   People of Ahmednagar have boycotted the news paper and at present the publication is closed.

Snehalaya has successfully rehabilitated the victims and the families.   The accused and the traffickers were offering a house for accommodations free of cost with ration to the families.  But it was the attempt to hostile the victims before recording their witness.  Snehalaya family offered security, affection, home, opportunities of jobs and education not only to victims but to all their family members.  Though  Snehalaya empowered the whole families, the father one of the victim hostiled in greed of money.  First he tried to get a possession of a victim girl to hostile her in favor of accused. He has demanded the possession of the girl to Child Welfare Committee.  After denial by CWC, he appealed in District Court.  There at CWC, Snehalaya has successfully opposed the claim of possession.  Then father conspired with 3 lawyers of accused, 4 accused in C.R. No. 50. Together they took the help of one criminal gang in Mumbai and kidnapped a victim from Saint Catherin’s Home, Mumbai.  They brought a victim to Ahmednagar, contacted every accused and collected the huge amount of money to hostile the victim in the court. The girl was forced to registered her witness as if the volunteers of Snehalaya and Child Line have raped her and forced her to take the names of reputed, wealthy people from the society.  But the girl was honestly gave her  the statement in the J.M.F.C. Court and confirmed that her father is forcing her to hostile for the sake of money.  Snehalaya again played a major role to rescue the victim from the traffickers.  Then a case was registered of kidnapping in Oshiwara Police Station of Mumbai and the girl was taken in to safe custody. 

When the local police did not support..

When police started playing the mischief, Snehalaya organized a long march on 8th March 2006, of civil society members of Ahmednagar to Collector Office. The march was headed by eminent social leaders like Anna Hajare, all Doctors, Professors, Chartered Accountants, Lawyers, Freedom Fighters, Journalists, Feminist Organizations, Youth and Students Organizations, like minded people from local political circles, etc.  This crowd of 2500 people gave a strong message to all anti social elements.  The investigation was transferred to CID from local police due to created pressure.  There were 38 witnesses examined in the case and mainly they include dare devil volunteers of Snehalaya and Child Line. 

This conviction has threatened all the traffickers, procurers and customers of children for sexual exploitation at large extent.  Ahmednagar District is totally free today from the use of children in flesh tread. The civil society members, media, local NGOs were sensitized on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children and trafficking.

Lessons for Non Profits Organizations

1.   Sustainable constructive work is possible only if we are ready to fight.  Firm stand for constructive change creates opposition and the NGO must be ready to fight t for the change.
2.   Progressive, strong laws itself cannot create any threat to anti social elements. Government, police and court cannot do it themselves.   Conviction is possible only when the civil society members take responsbility and plays active role of complainant, witness, panch, etc.   Only then we can obtain justice and create a social change.
3.   A small group of zealous youths can even bring the bigger social change with their honest approach, unity of action with passion.  
4.    We can not bring the social change on the basis of big funding, salaried staff, projects, media publicity and contacts with top bureaucrats – MLAs, MPs, Ministers.  We have to involve the common men, small donors, moral supporters in our work. These supporters may come on street or join hands against any bigwigs.  NGO should try to widen the social base to face any sort of threats or the pressures. We have more than 2500 people in support of Snehalaya.  Snehalaya could win this  war against the organized criminal groups only because of its wider social base.
5.   Networking with other NGOs helps us.  Snehalaya’s linkages with the movement of Anna Hajare, Nyayadhar (Organization of women lawyers), Organizations in water shade – education – right based movements – media networks, etc. have always helped us.  This has to be reciprocal. Most of the NGOs are in love with themselves.  Let us appreciate the work of others even if you are not directly concern with it.  
6.   NGO should not think of short term fame but must keep a long term goal of social change in action.  The short term publicity harms the long term aim and object of the mission.  The spirit of combating in NGO is useful in creating the credibility in the society.  It attracts the common man towards the work.

Our Gratitude

Snehalaya is running the anti trafficking program successfully in Ahmednagar districts since 1996.  The Mukti Vahini group of Snehalaya was  working on its own, without any remuneration.  But since the year 2004, Mr. Sunil Devnani, our supporter and member of Caring Friends has given us a personal donation for running the anti trafficking mission successfully.  Because of his support, we have organized the legal support, travel and support for the rehabilitation of the victims.  Captain Ashok Tamhane has donated his Quallis jeep for anti trafficking mission five years ago.  Capt. Tamhane is also a member of Caring Friends.  Mr, Nimesh Sumati and Ramesh Kacholiya alias 'Uncle' have helped us in settling the victims and their families.  Snehalaya has registered this social change with the help of these patrons. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Now my thinking cap is on .......!" - Violet Ryder (England)

Hello !!

I wanted to write and make contact. To say thank you so much for our stay and for your generosity as our host.

Since coming back home my thoughts have remained ever present with Snehalaya, and with the two weeks experience we had there. Never have I been somewhere who's heart was so full. Somewhere where from the moment I set foot in Harry's and my number 4 room, to the moment I climbed in the car to say goodbye, I felt so wholeheartedly accepted. What all of the staff at Snehalaya have accomplished through their mutual goal of bringing a better life to the women and children there is beyond what I could ever have anticipated. My heart has been topped up by the warmth and excitement of these children and my faith in humanity has been given a huge nudge into seeing just what can be done with the right philosophy and unceasing dedication from all involved.
So now my thinking cap is on. Any way that I can help raise funds and raise awareness I will.

Of course, right now, my thoughts are on the fundraiser. But I will continue to think of ways we can get the message of Snehalaya across in the best and truest way possible to England and the UK.

I will be in touch. I am eternally grateful to have come into contact with such genuine diamonds of people.

Lots of love,

Violet Ryder


Monday, September 13, 2010

"I really moved" Experience of Natalie Taylor (Australia) with Snehalaya.

Coming to volunteer at Snehalaya has been one of the most eye opening and exciting experiences I have had.
My life in London (& now Melbourne) is often taken up by work commitments and dramas with family & friends. Without thinking, life can become very small and selfish only dealing with those who are immediately around us and giving no time to thinking about those who are less fortunate.
When Miranda came to visit  me in February and explained about the work of Snehalaya, I was instantly interested. As a younger person (in my teenage years) I had planned to spend my life trying to make the world a better place. However, when I got my first job in the film industry at 18yrs old, I enjoyed the work so much I let the idea of helping others fade away.
My time at Snehalaya has reminded me how important it is to try to make a positive impact in the world. Spending time with children who despite an incredibly difficult start in life still have such a capacity for joy, it is truly a magical experience. The team who have built such an atmosphere of love are an inspiration to us all. I think I will always feel a little humbled by each staff member who has chosen to dedicate themselves to improving the lives of those around them. I enjoyed every minute in their company and although I plan to return to Snehalaya, I feel like I shall always cherish this first experience the most.
It is difficult to gauge how others back in Australia will react to my enthusiastic reports of Snehalaya.
Some people find it very hard to consider others, particularly if those people are so far away.
I can however tell you that Snehalaya has touched my heart very deeply and that I am happy to commit to being a dedicated supporter. In the short time that has passed since I left I am already planning various strategies to raise funds and encourage other to come and visit the centre. Miranda, Harry and myself plan to keep in touch will all progress regarding fund raising ideas, developments in actually getting money across to Snehalaya and of course the complication of the volunteer film. As a team I think we will be able to lean on each other to build a stronger support that will hopefully offer a greater impact in what we can achieve for you.
This is an exciting time for us all and I look forward to continuing a long and happy relationship with all at Snehalaya.

All the best,

Nat Taylor
+44 (0)7870 603 677

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Snehalaya's Satyagraha forced Police to file F.I.R., Rapists Arrested.

Ahmednagar, 9th Sept.
She came to Snehalaya's office bear footed along with her two kids a week ago. She came from Newase, a historical  city about 60 k.m away from Ahmednagar. Newase is the  birth place of "Dnyaneshwari" (The first translation of "Bhagwatgita" in Marathi language by Saint Dnyneshwar  in 12th centaury) . 

Her grievance was unbelievable. She told that she is about 25 yrs old. Her family is staying in the slum area of Newase. The area is dominated by the Anna Lakshare gang involved in illegal sand lifting from the river Pravara and trade of local made Pistols.  She was gang raped by a criminal gang of Anna Lakshare, a noted mafia. Anna is a political big wig, member of Panchayat Samiti and office bearer of a noted political party . Anna is already facing more than a dozen serious types of criminal cases. This incident of gang rape happened in the last week of march 2010. Sachin Bansode, Devidas Limbare & few others from Lakshare gang have gang raped her. After this incident,  she went to police station at Newase with her husband. But Lakshare threatened them with a gun. Hence, they couldn’t register the F.I.R. Later on her husband committed a suicide by hanging him self on 31st march 2010. No political party or leader has yet raised the voice for this woman due to the threat of Lakshare gang. 
Since Anna was arrested by police in the previous cases, she has raised a courage. She came to Snehalaya asking the help. 

Verifying and  considering the seriousness of the atrocity, snehalaya boosted her moral. Advised her to meet Mr. Krushna Prakash, the new police chief of Ahmednagar district. Mr. Krushna Prakash listened the matter, scolded the Newase police station and F.I.R was lodged. The three rapists were immediately arrested and they were given police custody for further investigation. 

Snehalaya has provided protection of volunteers to her after the F.I.R. Then  convinced  her to stay in Snehalaya's center with her kids for safety of life protection and brightening the future of the kids. Snehalaya has brought all her relatives to center to show them the facilities of English medium school and quality shelter. Our volunteers met the Tehsiladar, Police Inspector and the civil society members at Newase . Appealed them to be active against the antisocial tendencies.  

Minors Rescued

Ahmednagar, 9th Sept.
Snehalaya's Mukti vahini team has given a tip to Police and rescued 3 minors from a Lucky Hotel near Bus stand late last night. Today, court has ordered to admit the girls in the special home in Mundhva (Pune city).

The girls are between the age group of 14 to 16. They were brought to Ahmedanagar from Mumbai. But basically from Bihar and West Bengal. Mrs. Jyotipriya Singh, Assistant District Police Chief, has played a major role in the raid. Also 4 others arrested for running the brothel under the clause no. 3,4,5 and 7 of the immoral trafficking prevention act. 

Presently, all the brothels in Ahmednagar districts were closed by the police department. About 18 cases were registered on the brothel owners. Snehalaya is trying to provide alternative livelihood options to the women who wants to live a dignified life in the present situations.    

Monday, August 23, 2010

Snehalaya convinces the state government, to give children in red light areas, a better status

Ahmednagar, 23rd August.

The Maharashtra Government will soon give a reorganization of 'children with special needs' to the children in the red light areas. 
Mr. Subhash Zanak, Cabinet Minister of the Department of Women Child Development of Maharashtra state has assured Snehalaya family to correct the category in this regard.

This decision will encourage the N.G.O’s start the shelter homes specially for the children of prostitutes. His department immediately issues a license and funding to the institutions if they shelter the children of special needs. Mr. Zanak, accompanied by all top officers in his department visited each of Snehalaya’s projects and discussed  issues with volunteers. 

He appreciated Snehalaya for having drawn his attention towards many burning issues regarding the child rights and protection.