Scheme of Swadhar for Women & Girls
 


Theme
:-The scheme has been implemented by the organization since 1st May 2005.The project is supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government  of India.   Swadhar home is located at Bahbari  of Pubsarania  road in Guwahati ,Assam, The  word “Swadhar” means  self reliant and the chief aim of the scheme is to   assist  women without any social and economic support  to become self reliant in short span of time. 

Introduction :
The need for providing shelter for women and girls in disadvantageous  situations is being increasingly realized. The changing pattern of life, the rapid urbanization and industrialization and the resulting migration from rural to urban areas; the spread of education among women and the resulting problems of adjustment for the first generation literates; the rising cost of living and the need for women members of the family to make an independent earning creates problems which many of the women and girls do not find themselves adequately equipped to face. The break-up of social institutions like the joint family contributes considerably in creating problems of adjustment for women and young girls. Cases of marital conflict and emotional disturbances occur in increasing trend. They require help and guidance to regain confidence to meet this situation and require skills to become self-reliant and to develop relationships with people that could help in the re-establishment of their status in society. For meeting the situation, institutional services where counseling and guidance, medical and psychiatric treatment with vocational training   is provided  proved useful. The effort has been made to help the women to rehabilitate themselves within a short period of time. In this line of thinking, short stay homes were established a decade ago through voluntary organizations. An evaluative study was conducted recently to assess the impact of institutional programmes on residents and discharged residents. It appears from the study that the scheme has considerably helped the girls and women-facing crisis of their lives.
The organization is heavily engaged in rehabilitation of Female Sex Workers for last five years. This is one of the few organizations in Assam involved in such programme.   In the year 2001 there was a request from the home department for acceptance of eleven girls rescued from a Siliguri brothel. The organization always felt utmost necessity of a “Swadhar Centre” for such unfortunate girls and has always been interested to implement  such a centre.
This centre will accommodate these girls before they are ready for rehabilitation. In early part of 2003, this organization conducted a study trafficking of women across the interstate border and for the first time it became evident that 60% women in a  brothel at Silguri- are from Assam and they were trafficked for prostitution. These girls when interviewed revealed their willingness to return provided they are given institutional service at their home state, as there is no any such centre in the state the organization was interested for such center and Government of India had sanctioned Swadhar during 2004. This was the first Swadhar Centre for the entire state of Assam.
Categories of women/Girls/Children to be benefited:
  • Those who are being forced into prostitution or runway from brothels.
  • Those who, as a result of family tension or discord, are made to leave their homes  without any means of subsistence and have no social protection from exploitation  and/ or facing litigation on account of marital disputes.
  • Those who have been sexually assaulted and are facing the problem of re-adjustment   in the family or society.
  • Victims of mental mal-adjustment, emotional disturbances and social ostracism.
  • Those who escape from their homes due to family problems, mental/physical torture and need shelter, psychiatric treatment and counseling for their rehabilitation and re-adjustment in family/ society.
  • Girls and women between the age group of 15 to 35 years will be given preference.
  •  Children    accompanying the mother or born in the centre will also be permitted to stay in the Home only up to the age of 12 years, after which they will be transferred to    children's institutions or provided foster care facilities.
  • Surrendered girls from militant outfit.
Admission Policy and Procedure in Swadhar home
The admission policy and procedure for the admission of the women in such homes is the most vital aspect of the services to be offered. The admission policy will depend on categories of women who should be accorded priority in admission. The scheme will focus on women and girls belonging to the exploited, disadvantaged and under-privileged groups.
A system of recording of cases of each resident is maintained for proper follow-up.  The women either come to the centre on their own or are referred by others for help. In event of no referral a FIR will be lodged in the local police station .The first important step  is to know their social background, the cause of their unhappiness and the problem of adjustment that they are facing. A specialized interview and social case work service will be developed by the social worker in charge of the new entrant to decide whether the facilities available at the institution could be of help to the applicants or whether other institutions could be of more useful to them. Case history of each inmate is maintained even she discharged or rehabilitated.
 The centre is meant primarily for those women and girls who are either exposed to moral danger or are victims of exploitation or family discord resulting strain relationship or emotional disturbances. This centre will not be equated with destitute homes or orphanages or homes for the aged and infirm. The children of victim women below twelve years will also be admitted as when required
The first series of interviews by the social worker and the primary stage diagnosis of the problem is important in deciding the rehabilitation programmes for the applicants. If on diagnosis it is found that facilities provided at the institute are suited to meet the problem, the applicant will be admitted and provided services for her rehabilitation. If it is found that the services offered at the institute would not meet the problem of the applicant, then she will be referred to other suitable institutions. In case a girl comes for shelter on her own without any reference, information about her admission will be sent to the nearest Police Station.
A Medical checkup of every resident is mandatory, within three days of her admission. The part-time doctor is engaged in the centre.   Proper medical record is maintained  . Cases needing urgent medical attention will be referred to hospitals.

Routine blood test and test
for V.D.R.L. will be done. Vaccination and inoculation for contagious and infections diseases are to done.
If the resident brings any valuables with her (gold, silver, jewelry etc.) the details  are entered in a register meant for the purpose and counter signed by the superintendent and the resident. The valuables will be kept in safe custody and handed over to the resident when she leaves the Institution.

Treatment at the Institute
and work plan
After granting admission to the Institute when the interview and diagnosis are completed in specific time the women is will be given the required treatment, which would include medical care, psychiatric treatment, casework services, occupational therapy, social facilities of adjustment like educational, vocational, recreational and cultural activities etc according to individual requirements. Minute details of the beneficiaries are recorded in individual file. Formal, non-formal and adult education programs would be evolved in the institutes depending upon the needs of the residents. The vocational training programs in the centre   have linkage with the training facilities available in other organizations. The various vocational training programs implemented by the Government are also availed of. There are facilities for organized recreation and group activities. Facilities for indoor and outdoor games  are provided. Girls are taken out for cultural shows, outings, picnics and exhibitions etc at least once a month. Prolonged stay at this home  is discouraged. The period of stay should readily extend from 6 months to 3 years.
There is a system for proper follow-up studies of discharged residents to ensure a smooth re-integration into the community and the family. The project  tries to establish linkages with after care institutions run by the State and Central Governments and other voluntary organisations.Out of the total capacity of accommodation 5 to 10 seats  are kept reserved for such deserving women (with children if necessary) who would come to the city for legal matters. Alternately 5 to 10 seats may have to be increased if situation is very demanding for these special category of cases, a staff is engaged who will deal with these cases and escort them to the court.
Public awareness is created for the rehabilitation of women discharged from the centre. The institution will have a proper and effective follow-up program and case records consist of follow-up notes at least for five years after discharge. For this purpose, the organizations will make earnest efforts to find suitable individual placement as well as to educate people regarding the objectives of the centre. The mass communication media will be utilized for this purpose. Community leaders will be involved in the working of the centre through the managing committees. A  Managing Committee will also be set up for the institution representing Government and non-Government agencies to review every case after three months and decide on the continuation of the stay of the resident in the Home. A representative of the Director of Social Welfare Department in the State is requested to be associated with the Managing Committee. The Managing Committee consists of the following
(1) Superintendent
(2) Social Case Worker
(3) Psychologist
(4) Medical Officer
(5) Social workers
Festivals pertaining to all religions are   celebrated besides Republic Day and Independence Day and the birthdays of the girls.
The residents are allowed to meet visitors, which include parents/ guardians/close relatives. The Superintendent/Case Worker will scrutinize the list of visitors. Visitors will be allowed only on specific days and on specific time as determined by the managing committee.
Those women and girls, whose parents or close relatives are alive, will be granted 15 days leave during a year, in case they so desire. A proper leave application with the address of the place to be visited will be filled before the resident leaves the Institution and this will be placed on record.

Number of resident in ‘ SWADHAR CENTRE:
The Home have an average capacity for 50 residents at a time with facilities for a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 70 residents. Efforts are   made, however, to give individual attention and treatment to each case. Therefore control the number of residents is a vital over riding factor. In case the number of residents exceeds fifty, the organization will try for expansion of the “Swadhar Centre”. This will only be done only if this situation is likely to continue in future. Such expansion would, however, be subject to availability of funds with the donor agency or Government and satisfactory self-evaluation by the institution. The women facing court proceedings may be afforded all help. A caseworker escorts them to court and help them with their cases. Their conveyance and other essential charges such as Court fee, stamp duty and other incidental charges like typing charge (including stationary) etc, which is absolutely necessary may be met by the institution. Apart from financial assistance, police protection will be arranged if necessary particularly during their journey to the court and back if it is required.
This arrangement may not be needed for all cases, but for some cases police protection will be very much needed.
Staff Pattern:
The staff for a Home will consist of   
  • A Superintendent –cum Warden.
  •  A part time Medical officer.
  •  A full time Counselor.
  •  A Clerk-cum-Accountant.
  •  Two guards cum Peon.
  •  The organization will appoint on its own a clinical psychologist and a legal advisor and one part time counselor.

    The post of Superintendent is residential.  All the staff recruited is female except one peon who is male.  The administrative control of the Institution will rest in the Superintendent, guided by the   Managing Committee. She will check the accounts, stores etc., periodically; she will also give counseling and casework services to the residents as and when required.

    The Superintendent is responsible for maintaining case register and case files. The Counselor will provide counseling, guidance and family life education to the residents. The superintendent and the counselor will liaison   with the Home and family of the resident.

    The Home will make maximum use of the existing community resources like Training Centers, Community Resources, Employment Bureau, Recreation Clubs, Hospitals, Dispensaries etc, in ensuring the proper running of the Institution and rehabilitation of the residents. Assistance of the Central Social Welfare Board or the state government will be asked for to set up a Training- cum-Production Centre for the benefit of not only the residents but also the poor residents of the locality.  State Social Welfare Advisory board will be requested to provide vocational guidance training to the inmates. During the training period if the girls/women start earning, savings accounts will be opened in a national Bank in their names in order to enable them to have some funds of their own, when discharged from the Institution.

    MONITORING AND EVALUATION

    Each activity of the project is monitored using suitable indicators. Any shortcoming found is dealt immediately.   Evaluation of the project is done at every six month

    EXPECTED OUTCOME: 

    It is expected that the inmates of the centre after proper treatment will come over their crisis and will be independent and will lead meaningful life once discharged from the shelter home.

    SUSTANIBILITY
    :

    The organization will put continuous effort to sustain the centre. It will look for suitable donors. Any shortfall of fund either temporary or permanent will be borne by the organization through donation from its members or from its reserve fund.