The primary cause for vulnerability of women and girls to
be trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation is the lack of resources.
A dignified source of income is an important tool to prevent a victim's
entry into, and aid exit from, commercial sex work.
Documentary on Swift Wash
Arz has adapted a holistic approach in the economic rehabilitation
programme as it was felt that only the rehabilitation of the victim could
not support her in continuing in her struggle to live a life free from
exploitation. A change had to be brought in the different stake holders
in her life. So the perpetrators, the spouse of these women, the adult
male children & relatives in their family were also provided rehabilitation
in the same programme. The Economic Rehabilitation Programme was inititated
in 2005 to cater to the economic empowerment of victims of sexual exploitation.
Based on the suggestions of the victims, the programme identified possible
business trades. This led to the setting up of Swift Wash, a fully mechanized
laundry unit in Sancoale, Goa for providing employment to the victims
of commercial sexual exploitation. Currently, the unit is providing employment
to 35 women and girls and 15 boys.
Arz is also exploring the possibilities for further expansion.
To economically empower the girls and women, Arz has a series of meetings
with possible beneficiaries and their family members to help them understand
the usefulness of the opportunity and help them opt for the alternative
rehabilitation. Arz envisages the Economic Rehabilitation Programme as
the women's collective step and plans to gradually move out and give more
independence to run the business on their own.
Taj Groups of Hotels has been instrumental in training the beneficiaries of Swift Wash and provide laundry orders to the rehabilitation unit, under their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative. Taj Hotels' support has enabled Swift Wash to provide economic rehabilitation to the victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Kitchen Garden Project
The Kitchen Garden is a joint project between ARZ and Vanastree which aims to provide SWIFT Wash beneficiaries with gardening skills, a closer connection to nature, a beautiful space to be in, and the therapeutic benefits gained from working closely with the land.