The wailing two-year-old Asha is immediately consoled by the 15-year-old Rekha on an early evening Samarthanam. It is the time when the many women beneficiaries of all ages share their day’s worth of happenings. The happy cheers and guffaws leave the onlooker in a state of awe! Like any other working women’s hostel, with busybodies tending their needs and helping one another is the daily routine of Swadhara Gruh – a home for women in distress run by Samarthanam with support from Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India & Government of Karnataka.
Initially set up for the disabled women and their children as a means of shelter, aiding them to gain a social stand. Very soon Samarthanam’s Swadhararuh evolved as a platform providing social justice to women with family problems, to those women who have faced sexual abuse and harassment, divorcees, widows, differently-abled and economically backward.
Swadhara Gruh is a multifaceted arrangement that offers free shelter, food, vocational training, counseling, suitable placement opportunities, and also medical support to women from a wide range of cultural, socio-economic, rural, urban, and educational backgrounds. It also offers legal assistance concerning counseling sessions with spouse and reconciling with their families.
The women residing here form a close-knit association supporting each other. The twelve-year-old Sushma helps ABC, a kindergartener with her homework. Smitha (name changed on request) after a busy day at work, helps the older school children with homework. “The children and women residing here are like a family to me. I have an emotional bond with them which helped me during my initial days when my husband abandoned me and my parents weren’t prepared to have me back.”, recalls Smitha.
One of the workers managing this rehabilitation facility says that the women who come here have different problems and the organization tries its best to offer solutions to such women giving them different options and support as per the comfort and preference of these women like reconciliation with families or assistance with job placements or opportunities to seek higher education or vocational training programmes to help them with their livelihood.
Despite the technological advancements, a woman abandoned by her husband or family is still considered a taboo. Swadhara Gruh has its doors opened for such women and to help this cause or to support these women, click here to make a difference.