WOMEN IN NEED has secured a new property to expand its operations, after struggling for more than six months to find someone willing to accommodate the women we aim to help.
Advertisements in local newspapers resulted in numerous offers but once Leah and Usha explained the nature of the charity’s work, they were met with equally numerous refusals.
In November 2008, a property became available through the help of one of WIN’s Indian trustees, Dr Charchekar. This new addition to the charity’s infrastructure is now sheltering some of Nagpur’s most neglected women.
With increasing numbers of individuals seeking help from Women In Need, there has been a demand for expansion, especially to accommodate those who are abandoned on the city streets.
There are a number of reasons why some women become homeless: Old age and infirmity can lead to an individual being considered a burden on the family. Sometimes a family dispute can result in dispossession. If the woman is unable to find work and alternative accommodation under such circumstances, she will be forced onto the streets, where it is easy to become the victim of rape and abuse.
The abuse can precipitate the onset of mental illness, alienating her even further from mainstream society, a society that chooses to ignore her plight. As mental illness is still taboo in India, many women who encounter this problem are shunned by their families and abandoned.
In extreme cases, some women have been put on trains and carried off to some unknown destination. Such women often become prey to multiple rapes and attacks. This invariably leads to the more serious problem, contracting HIV/AIDS.
This cycle of betrayal and tragedy is all too common; with nowhere to turn to for help countless women remain lost, vulnerable and miserable. The new shelter offers safety and security for those who find themselves facing such insurmountable odds.