Who does Prayas Reach Out to?

  • Women and youth under trial prisoners and those being processed by the criminal justice system; and their families (including children of women prisoners left outside, while the mothers are inside);
  • Women and girls rescued by the police from sexually exploitative situations;
  • Destitute women and girls, especially those vulnerable to crime and/or commercial sexual exploitation; and
  • Women or youth referred by personnel within the criminal justice system, voluntary organisations, ex-beneficiaries of Prayas and the general public.

Why does Prayas work with these groups?

  • Persons drifting into exploitative situations have done so as a result of their past experiences and social circumstances.
  • They have adopted alternative supportive structures and behaviors to counter life situations.
  • Having been subjected to a series of exploitative situations, they may get drawn to behaviours that are destructive to self or others.
  • Separation from the family and other cultural units has resulted in exclusion from mainstream society.
  • They need support to prevent their further exclusion from society.
  • Every person rehabilitated adds to a contributing member in the legal economy.

The Approach

To facilitate a process where a person shifts (away) from an environment conducive to crime or sexual exploitation to one that offers stability and safety in following areas:

  1. Shelter
  2. Income in the legal sector
  3. Increasing connections in mainstream society

This is expected to reduce the chances of a person resorting to or being subjected to exploitative behaviour.

What does Prayas do?

Social workers and training instructors visit different settings including prisons, police stations and government run institutions for  women. Services such as information and awareness programmes, educative sessions, family support and legal aid are focused upon. This is done with the objective of establishing rapport and to provide information about rehabilitative services.

In order to counter problematic individual and environmental situations, a programme has been designed to replace illegal/inappropriate acquaintances, behaviors, and support systems with those that are socially acceptable. A team comprising of social workers, vocational training instructors, and counselors based in Mumbai and Bharuch operatefrom Development Centres for male (youth) and women.

Rehabilitation Plan

The plan is implemented on a phase-by-phase basis, as below:

  • Emergency support is provided including medical aid, house repair and rent, legal aid, child support, travel to hometown, etc.
  • Shelter facilities in institutions, hostels, and group homes are arranged for persons who cannot live with their families, due to past behaviour, family circumstances and social stigma.
  • Family support and counselling services is provided to ensure support and enable the family deal with difficult circumstances while also supporting the person who has been/being processed by the criminal justice system.
  • Education, vocational training and job creation are explored, with special focus on the welfare sector. Accordingly, trainees are placed in the voluntary sector which lends itself for providing a protected, supervised and socially conducive environment for development of social and technical skills necessary for economic and social upgradation. A stipend is provided to trainees during the placement period (ranging from three months to two years).
  • Legal documents are obtained in order to help a person exert rights as a citizen. He/she is also encouraged to gain access to public systems like nationalized banks, the health system and welfare schemes.