J.S. Ifthekhar

Government initiative to give the women social recognition

  • 50 girls rescued from flesh trade and 100 HIV-infected women to be trained
  • Possibilities of providing housing to women who get married being explored

    HYDERABAD: They may have been spurned by society, but they have a friend from the most unlikely quarter - Government. Victims of AIDS and trafficking can now turn to the district administration for help and rehabilitation. In a bid to give them social recognition and security, the district authorities have lined up training programmes.

    Firm footing

    About 50 girls rescued from flesh trade besides 100 HIV-infected women are proposed to be trained in manufacture of jute bags, toys and footwear design technology. The training programme is expected to begin by the month-end. "They suffer from lack of identity. We want to give them a firm footing in life," said Hyderabad Collector R.V. Chandravadan.

    Development Action for Rural Environment (DARE), a NGO working with HIV-infected persons, and Prajwala, an anti-trafficking organisation working for welfare of women and children, are being roped in. They will identify the women who need to be trained. Once the training is over, each woman would be able to earn Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 per day.

    The district administration is also thinking of extending widow pensions. Most of the women who are in the age group of 18 to 35 years are widows and have none to fall back on. Authorities are also exploring the possibilities of providing housing under the weaker section programme to the women who get married. "We are prepared to support any number of women belonging to this vulnerable category," Mr. Chandravadan said.

    Institutes identified

    Hi-Fashion Institute near ECIL and the Footwear Design Centre, RTC crossroads, are identified for imparting training. The training cost per candidate for footwear designing is Rs. 6,000 and for jute bag manufacture Rs. 2,500. The district administration will pick up the bill.

    Most of the HIV-infected women live in the slums at Gandhinagar, Chikkadpally, Mehdipatnam and Domalguda. DARE is extending home-based care and support to them since 2000. "This is the first time that we have tied them up with a Government aid programme," said DARE director Sridhar. The organisation is trying to provide free bus pass and lunch facility to the women during the training period.

    However, in case of the victims of trafficking there is a problem. Prajwala is stated to have expressed serious concern about the security of the women when they travel to the training institute. To overcome this problem authorities are thinking of arranging training to them at their place of stay itself.