INDIA: 31 young women in legal trouble gain tailoring skills at Salesian Surakshita Home
Young women are also able to access a counselor and legal support for their cases in court.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 11, 2021) Thirty-one young women who lived at the Salesian Surakshita Home, located in the town of Ravulapalem in Andhra Pradesh, India, were supported through donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Surakshita Home provides living facilities for young women who have been in legal trouble. There are dorms, bathrooms, a dining hall, a work room and a training hall.
When young women enter the program, they are given clothing and proper nutrition. They are sent for a medical examination, and women with special health needs receive individual follow-up care. They are also able to access a counselor and legal support for their cases in court. In addition, the young women are empowered with information about their rights, and they access training in tailoring, maggam embroidery, and other handicrafts.
During the past six months, 31 women completed educational coursework in tailoring. Some of the women found jobs in tailoring shops. Others were able to start dressmaking and embroidery work for themselves and for others. Five women in the program were rewarded for their excellent work with tailoring machines so they could start earning an income to sustain themselves.
Earlier this year, in honor of International Women’s Day in March, the women in the program attended a ceremony at the Department of Women & Child Development in Kakinada, East Godavari, and received appreciation certificates from Ms. Pushavathi, project director of the agency. There was also a short presentation about the work that the women have done and the skills they have acquired as part of the program.
Once they complete the program, women are integrated back into society. Salesian staff members visit parents and guardians, and they help young women go back home if possible or find other reasonable accommodations.
“This program is giving young women in trouble with the law a second chance at life,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian programs not only educate, but they prepare young people for work in fields that are hiring and jobs are available. These young women have learned skills that will enable them to become self-sufficient.”
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
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