Protsahan uses very specific focus to do its job. We focus on children but specifically we focus on at risk children and the girl child. Countless research shows that conditions in any society improve drastically when the women of the society are empowered, educated and healthy. Through our various programmes, we seek to improve the lives of families across India and parts of the world by first focusing on the girl child. We try to break the barriers of neglect and superstition, of outdated views and abuse, to give these girls something to live and work for. We try to kindle a hunger for education and knowledge in our girls and show them how to believe in themselves. Our very specific programmes and workshops provide our girls the tools they need to break cycles of poverty, abuse, and neglect. Please explore our website for details on our many projects and campaigns.
The Creative Education wing of Protsahan works directly with children living in slums. We specifically target children who have been sexually abused or exploited, under aged children who are used illegally for domestic labor, and children with substance abuse issues. These children have no access to proper education and more likely to be forced into sex trafficking, begging or illegal work as domestic ‘help’. Protsahan adopts these children and educates them via creative methods by extensive use of Art and ICT (Information, Communication & Technology) based methods. Our big picture goal is to make the children aware of their surroundings and motivate them to join government schools for further education. The main project running under this wing is called Project Educare, which is supported by individual donors. The project works with 300+ girls rescued from streets and slums facing child labour and sexual abuse, 60+ boys with substance abuse issues and over 5000 street and slum school aged children.
The Skill Development wing of Protsahan works directly with the women and youth living in urban slums as well as artisans and the families of children studying in Protsahan classrooms. Many of the women we meet do not have any dignified source of income and have no skills to rely on. Protsahan aims to develop their skills by providing small vocational courses delivered by volunteers. Examples of these are jewelry making, colouring terracotta lamps, sewing and needlework. These products are sold under the brand Protsahan, online and offline at various events and exhibitions. A considerable part of the money raised goes to the women, which helps them earn and live with dignity. The projects running under this wing include Project Artisan Honour and Project Stree. Project Artisan Honour works with artisans across many states in India. Please explore our website for more details on these.
Protsahan believes in the importance of investing in girls. Investing in girls is perhaps the fastest and economically sound way of breaking the vicious cycles of intergenerational poverty that plague about 250 million girls living in the developing world.
When a girl living in poverty reaches puberty, she is immediately seen as having reached a marriageable age. This is contrary to the fact that her body and her mind are not fully developed and are definitely not ready to handle the responsibilities and effects of sexual intercourse and childbirth. A girl is not usually seen as not belonging to her own family but is seen as property to be raised and given to the family of her future husband. It follows that investing in their own daughters does not make sense to families living in poverty, as they will not be the ones to reap any benefits.
Girls who are married off at a young age face the problems of marital abuse, early pregnancy and the increased risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. In addition to these, girls living in poverty are not able to continue to receive education after marriage. Without even the most basic education, these girls are not able to earn decent livelihoods. This can result in girls resorting to prostitution in order to survive. Even if the girls manage to earn by working as cheap domestic labour, the cycle continues with their own children, particularly their daughters. These girls grow up to be women, poor in health and lacking control of their lives.
If we invest in girls, the girls living in poverty can break the cycles of early marriage and pregnancies, lack of education and poor health. Instead of bearing child after child in abusive and difficult circumstances, the girl can continue schooling. Spending a majority of the day at school provides all children with a safe place to learn and grow. If girls are given access to good medical care, it is a safe assumption that they will be healthier as they grow. After completing basic education, the girl can choose to work towards a higher education. Even with just a basic education, the chances of the girl earning a decent livelihood increase exponentially. An independent girl can choose when and whom to marry. An educated woman can choose when and how many children she has. The children she has will be like her, the daughters educated the same way and the sons learning the importance of investing in girls and respect for women.
The importance of investing in girls in developing countries like India cannot be overstated. It is what Protsahan stands for and it started when just one 8 year old girl was saved from being sent to a brothel. Each girl we save and invest in is one step closer to emancipating entire communities from poverty.