While we were working towards the rescue of Anisha* and her siblings back in 1990, there was a loaded question glaring at us. What next?
We recognized the need to provide a safe and secure environment for them to recover from the trauma they had been subjected to.
Thus began our search for spaces where we could build a facility to accommodate those we rescued.
Today, we have multiple facilities that are home to the women, men and children we rescue from the streets. With a holistic approach towards rehabilitation, our aim is to provide a place where the rescued feel loved, protected and cared for.
Ashagram was the first home to be built on the property that we acquired with the help and support of our contributors.
It has separate living quarters for men and women along with community dining halls, a spacious area for outdoor activities, classrooms and vocational training centers.
Ashagram is also where our adult literacy programs, counseling sessions, healthcare and drug rehabilitation programs are instituted.
After the women and men we rescue are ready to move on from Ashagram and start afresh, we maintain our relationships with them. Whether it’s a helping hand, guidance or simply companionship as they walk through life, our doors are always open.
Ashagram literally translates to ‘Village of Hope’
“Ma’am, look at this. A pimple! Ugh!” shrieked Jenny* as she ran up to her. The headmistress shook her head while trying to suppress a little smile. How quickly they grow! It seemed like yesterday when she came tottering into Jubilee I on her tiny 5 year old feet. Her teenage rebellion days were not too far away now. My goodness, were they difficult!
“We’ll get you some acne cream. Run to class now!” she said in that familiar stern voice.
In our early years, we observed that the daughters of the sex workers in the red light districts are forced into the same line of work. It was imperative that we saved these girls in time so they don’t meet the same unfortunate fate as their mothers.
We found it essential to have a separate facility that is appropriate for their age and mental make-up and caters to their specific needs.
Jubilee I and II are the homes for our daughters. With these homes, we provide a vibrant and nurturing environment for the girls, away from the darkness of the red light districts.
Today, a significant amount of our work is geared towards rescuing women and girls from the red light districts.
However, a lot of Devaraj’s early work was with the ‘street boys’ in the red light districts and railroad stations.
Devaraj was deeply stirred seeing young boys robbed of their childhood. Many of them were runaways from abusive home situations, compelled to do all kinds of odd and dangerous jobs for a few rupees.
We rescued these boys and gave them refuge in our homes. Here, they receive education and vocational training, giving them a chance to transform their life and make something meaningful out of it.
Several young children we rescue are HIV positive. Their condition warrants specialized healthcare and diet.
Keeping this in mind, BTC founded Jubilee IV – a home dedicated to care for HIV positive children.
Every six months, comprehensive blood tests are carried out to monitor the condition. Our doctors visit the home regularly for routine check-ups and follow-up treatment.
We have 9 resident and 2 part-time staff members who look after the children’s health and progress. A 24 hour nurse is available at all times to administer healthcare on a daily basis.
BTC has a night shelter for children, Jeevan Jyoti, in the heart of the red light district of Kamathipura.
Here, these children learn to read, to write, to add and subtract. Those who need extra attention and care are taught privately by the BTC staff so they can keep up with regular schooling.
With Jeevan Jyoti, we hope to provide relief for children seeking some semblance to a normal life, away from what they are exposed to daily on the streets and in their mothers’ rooms.