VARHAD identifies and works to remove the despair of such women prisoners who have nobody to take care of them not only within the prison walls but also after their release. In their post-release rehabilitation, we work in two ways, (i) providing livelihood training by our vocational training centres inside the prisons, and (ii) facilitating in getting the education.
(i) Vocational Training for Livelihood
VARHAD imparts vocational training in sewing for the women prisoners irrespective of their age so that they can sustain after their release in a self-sufficient way. Our training staff workers encourage them to save money along with providing them health-tips for a hygienic life. The duration of the sewing course is six-months‘ in which the women learn to stitch 15-20 kinds of garments apart from the embroidery. Other than this course, we have started the livelihood training for these women in other fields as well, for example, wax making and incense sticks making etc.
For making them feel homely, we also organise programmes on special occasions such as women’s liberation day, Rakhi Din etc., in which they are allowed to participate in all the celebratory activities in the prison only.
VARHAD operates Adult Literacy Programmes (ALP) for the imprisoned women by providing them formal education within the prison itself. Due to our lobbying with the education department of Maharashtra, we have started successfully 4th standard board examinations inside the prison 10 premises only. Other than this we are used to approaching other authorities as well such as Municipal Corporations for taking initiatives in providing teaching for those female prisoners who are illiterate, and also for their children by establishing literacy centres within the prison premises. In this way, our efforts have brought many success stories by which many illiterate women and children are promoted to read and write from the scratch.
The board examinations have been conducted regularly since the year 2007 and will continue. Every year, around 15-20 beneficiaries get passed this exam owing to our initiative. The aim of this basic education is to help these women gain knowledge and much-needed confidence to assimilates in the mainstream society, once they leave the prison walls. There are also arranged many cultural and sports activities by VARHAD for their mental and physical well-being during their stay in prison. We encourage these women to take active participation in our sports and cultural activities.