Children’s Day: These little dreamers find a home in Pune to keep it real
Mohor, an initiative by the NGO Swadhar, is a 24-hour shelter and educational centre for children of commercial sex workers (CSWs).pune Updated: Nov 14, 2017 16:03 IST
My dream is to become a police inspector and catch all the bad guys!” exclaims eight-year-old Omkar. He shares the same dream with most of his friends at the home, Mohor, a shelter near Budhwar Peth.
Mohor, an initiative by the NGO Swadhar, is a 24-hour shelter and educational centre for children of commercial sex workers (CSWs). This dream, Swadhar’s secretary, Sanjeevani Hingale says, “Is recurrent among most of the kids, as they are often exposed to them. Having come from such backgrounds, the profession of a policeman or policewoman is very empowering to them.”
Eleven-year-old Aarti believes that becoming a policewoman will not only liberate her, but also the people around her. Aarti’s world, as her friends say, revolves around books, and when asked she murmurs, “I want to study a lot. Education is very important, as that is the only thing that can help me fulfil my dream.”
But, for five-year-old Vaishali, empowerment has a different meaning. She thinks through imparting education one can empower many more people. “Like they teach us here I want to become a teacher and help many more to become big in their lives.”
Waiting eagerly for this year’s Children’s Day, these 70 odd-children of the shelter have left their pasts to embrace a better future. “This is not a hostel, we want to give them a better home and upbringing. With whatever funds we have, we all have been trying to further their dreams. Although, the hard reality is that there are more ‘downs’ and many horrifying experiences in the journey, but the ‘ups’ are worth it. Most importantly, it’s brilliant to see how they can come to terms with their past lives and move on better than adults. Kids are stronger than they seem,” Hingale added.