Women play an important role in the social and economic structure of any society but, even today in India, they are treated as second class citizens. Our patriarchal society propagates both gender-based discrimination and violence against women. There are enough reports to prove that every third woman in India faces domestic violence of various forms in the country. Their work also mostly goes unrecognised and unappreciated. Generally, they are paid less than their counterparts for the same kind and amount of work. These women need support to be able to stand up on their own feet. With increased awareness, more organisations have taken a step forward to help women in India.
Medical aid, maternal care, help against domestic violence are a few necessities that a lot of women still don’t have access to. One organisation can’t do this alone. Mentioned below are a few GiveAssured NGOs that are doing their bit to help women in India.
Jeepa Majhi, a young woman who was pregnant with her first child, lives in Rupen village, which is 32kms from the nearest maternal health clinic. The village has bad roads and poor mobile services. Due to a pre-existing anaemic condition, Jeepa had a high-risk pregnancy. When she developed labour pains at 2 a.m., her husband came to Swasthya Swaraj’s clinic asking for help. Chanchala, a nurse at the NGO travelled 7kms on foot and crossed over two rivers to get to Jeepa to the clinic in time, resulting in her safe and healthy delivery. Without the NGO’s help, both Jeepa and her baby could have lost their lives.
Swasthya Swaraj has set up a model community health program in the Thulamul Rampur Block-the most backward and underdeveloped part of Odisha. The programme focuses on health and education and is successfully active in 76 villages.
Bhagwan Dai Amma, a 55-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh was found wandering in the streets with maggot-infested wounds in her feet and eyes. Her situation got worse until workers from Apna Ghar Ashram found her. They took her to three different hospitals to give her the care she needed. After three months, her wounds finally began to heal. Once she recovered, she decided to stay back in the Ashram and give back to those in need.
Apna Ghar Ashram’s vision is not to let anyone die due to ill health or lack of shelter. More than 50% of their residents have been rehabilitated. 458 men and 1004 women currently live in the Ashrams spread across 17 major cities. Apna Ghar Asharam was also awarded the State Award by the State Government as the Best Services Organisation.
Nazifa married a man she loved, who soon turned out to be abusive. Even after having a child with him, he hurt both her and her daughter. He forced her to be a surrogate mother for three childless couples. When he forced her to do it for the fourth time, she was worried for her life and approached Alpnalaya for help. The organisation convinced Nazifa to tell the story to someone she trusted. She told her brother who convinced her to leave her husband. Her husband left her alone only when Alpnalaya threatened him with legal action. She now has her job and lives at her brother’s house with her daughter.
Started in 1973, Alpnalaya aims to empower the disadvantaged to overcome the social, political and economic barriers and help them lead a better quality of life. They provide sewing classes and train women who otherwise have not been given the choice or opportunity to engage in these activities. 209 women have economically benefited from Self Help groups organized by Apnalaya. In 2017, the NGO was awarded the Champion Level- GuideStar India Platinum for the highest levels of transparency and public accountability.
Lakshmi was married off at a young age of just 15 to a daily wage labourer. Her husband turned out to be an alcoholic and spent all their money. She raised her two sons and two daughters on her own. When her husband passed away, she moved in with her sons who soon began to physically abuse her. She was begging for food on the streets when a team member from Project Jeevan found her. Since then, Maitri has provided her with a safe home, good food, new clothes, and healthcare.
Since its inception in 2005, Maitri has worked with over 45,000 individuals on the issues of social and health problems and public health concerns through education, community outreach, networking, and legal advocacy. The organisation has been addressing the issue of violence against women, running a victim support program, and providing support to abandoned elderly widows in Vrindavan.
Bhagyashree was born into a poor family who discontinued her education at a young age. She hoped to be married off into a good family but her husband turned out to be abusive. Not only did he beat her regularly but also used to cheat on her with different women. She decided to leave her husband and contacted Gauravi, an organisation run by ActionAid India in collaboration with the Government of Madhya Pradesh. With the help of the organization, Bhagyashree studied Fashion Designing and now has plans to open her boutique.
ActionAid India is part of a global federation and a full affiliate of ActionAid International that has a presence in over 40 countries worldwide. Since 1972, the poor and the excluded have been at the centre of their programs in India. Gauravi is the first crisis centre set up in India with the help of the Department of Health in 2014 to provide rights to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Currently, there are 22 Gauravi centres across the country and over 40,000 cases have been registered in the centres.
With the contributions that women pay not only to our economy but also to the proper functioning of our society, it is not just necessary, but imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure that these women get the rights and services they need.