Transgender activist Gauri Sawant is working hard towards laying the foundation of Aajicha Ghar, a shelter for children of sex workers.
While the life of sex workers has widely been looked at, less is done to give a healthy life to their children. With the aim to provide a better living to these children, social activist and transgender Gauri Sawant is building Aajicha Ghar, which literally translates to ‘Grandma’s Home’.
“Aajicha Ghar will be a safe and friendly home for the abandoned girl children,” says Gauri, the proud founder of the foster home. The main idea behind starting this noble initiative, she explains, is to nurture each and every girl child and empower them with education and good moral values.
The aim, however, is not just to provide a shelter to girl children but offer a protective umbrella to others as well. The two-storey building which is under construction at Palghar district, will be a unified shelter for senior citizens from the transgender community as well, says the activist.
“We will provide care to the lives of those helpless and destitute senior citizens from the transgender community. They are often neglected by society and are unable to attain proper healthcare due to poverty. At our Ghar, they can live as a valued member for as long as they like,” says Gauri.
The activist dreams of building a harmonious home. The senior citizens will be looking after the children, justifying the name Aajicha Ghar.
“Here, they will lead a dignified life at the same time nurturing the young ones by giving them love and affection,” smiles Gauri.
But all good things don’t come easy. Even as Gauri works hard day and night to build the home, she is struggling to obtain proper funds. While they are in constant touch with several NGOs in the city, surprisingly, help has come from unexpected sources. It is the people supporting the cause who have come forward and donated money from their own pockets.
Gauri informs us that as soon as enough funds are collected, they will inaugurate the home. “Right now, our main focus is to raise funds for Aajicha Ghar, and as soon we have successfully raised funds from all mediums, we will inaugurate the place,” she says.
According to the plan, the Ghar will have a health room with all necessary medicines for the children. For the old aged people, there will be a living, reading, dining, worship room and recreational facilities. Along with this, professional staff will be deployed for their maintenance.
While the Ghar will be ringing with laughter and care, those running it will also be creating awareness on health and hygiene. But most importantly they will diligently look into the fact that no girl child enters the business of prostitution.
“We will be protecting the children of sex workers by giving them healthcare. Treatment will be a huge part of the home especially diseases like HIV and AIDS,” she says.
Once the foundations of the Ghar are set, Gauri plans on building more houses for those in need. She doesn’t want to stop at just Palghar and is planning to establish another home at Karjat.