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Help Swakshatra Save Children from Danger

Some of us Ex-Indian Army Officers, along with other concerned citizens, have started a Trust called Swakshatra, with a broad based mandate to work for the welfare and safety of Children and Women.

 Swakshatra, a word of Sanskrit origins, means Innately Strong and Self Powerful. This is our vision for every woman and child, and we seek to work towards this vision, primarily by engaging in Child and Women Safety initiatives including Anti Human Trafficking activities.

Towards this mandate, we have the following programs undertaken by Swakshatra:
Program 1: Short-stay Shelter for Girls at Risk, in the age group of 6 to 16 years, intended to house high-risk profiles such as victims of child sexual abuse/ assault, victims of various forms of trafficking, children rescued from streets, children rescued from various forms of neglect and any situation that may inhibit the exercise of basic child rights.
Program 2: Training in Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Awareness and Women Safety.

The Short-stay Shelter mentioned above, has been commissioned with effect from Apr 2016, and with effect from Jun 2016, we have received various risk profiles of girls routed by the Child Welfare Committees.

It is for this Short-stay Transit Shelter, that I seek your support. Our operational expenditure to house 12 children is approximately Rs 1,00,000/- per month.

Over the last one year, we have successfully moved into long-term rehabilitation, 6 children. Presently we have 10 children at our Shelter, whose short-term rehabilitation is in process.

A broad breakup of this cost per month, is as below detailed:
Facility rental, utilities, staff salaries, conveyance, office expenses, incidental and miscellaneous - Rs 58,000/-
Food, essentials and medicinal expenses for 12 child beneficiaries and 2 caregivers - Rs 42,000/- (at Rs 3,000/- per individual per month)

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11th November 2017
Justice for our Child at Supreme Court:

This August, a child victim of sexual abuse, who was pregnant and had crossed the legal deadline of 20 weeks for Medical Termination of Pregnancy was put under the support of Swakshatra by a Child Welfare Committee at Bangalore.

Apathy of the system had brought us to a juncture where we were left with no choice but to file a writ petition against the state in Karnataka High Court to permit the MTP under exception, a move that created a lot of friction with the government agencies. We lost the case at the High Court due to inconclusive medical opinion by experts.

However, in the process, we found a crusader of a lawyer, Aarti, who worked pro bono for this case and got her entire network of friend lawyers involved in the fight. Thus, we could appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court with fresh medical opinion- all thanks to the selfless support of Aarti and her team.

Finally on 21 Sep 2017, the Supreme Court bench, headed by CJI, pronounced a favourable judgement in the case enabling the child victim to undergo an MTP under specialist care.

6 weeks of relentless pursuit by Bhavana against an apathetic system finally brought justice to the child, who is now recuperating from the set back and planning her future.

Another positive outcome is the initiation of the process of judicial reform to prevent procedural delays in such cases which compromises a child's life and well being.

Let us hope that the provision for a standing medical commitee for expediting expert opinion in such cases gets implemented at the earliest.

The case is covered in the news link below :-
http://m.timesofindia.com/india/sc-allows-two-rape-victims-to-abort-orders-preservation-of-fetus-for-dna-test-to-nail-accused/articleshow/60787728.cms

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