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Working for a change

Prerana is an award winning, internationally-recognised NGO that has globally pioneered several activities for the welfare of commercial sex workers and their children in India, reports Tasneem Nashrulla.

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2010 01:32 IST
Tasneem Nashrulla

Prerana is an award winning, internationally-recognised NGO that has globally pioneered several activities for the welfare of commercial sex workers and their children in India.

However, the NGO’s 30-year-old centre at Kamathipura still functions out of a decrepit, narrow corridor in the confines of a municipal school in one of Asia’s largest red-light districts.

With an annual budget of Rs 1 crore, the NGO is dependent on donor funds.

Which is why, Dasra, a Mumbai-based venture philanthropy NGO, organised a site visit for interested parties to Prerana as part of the launch of the Indian Philanthropy Forum, which aims to build a community of philanthropists committed to providing solutions to India’s poverty.

Prerana not only acts as a night crèche where children can sleep while their mothers work at the brothels, but it also helps nurture mother-child relationships.

While thousands of children find shelter here, the cramped space restricts many more from being housed there.

“Even if we have build a few more rooms, we can take in so many more children,” said Pravin Patkar, director of Prerana. “We need more national corporate funding and partnerships,” he said.

Veena Nagpal, an investment advisor who attended the site visit, said she and her husband had always wanted to donate to a worthy cause, but withheld due to lack of accountability and transparency in NGOs. “With Dasra’s involvement, I hope we can contribute to such organisations.”