A Time For Hope

We met Sneha* during outreach at one of the brothels in Kamathipura. She was 11 years old, with a smiling face, beaming with curiosity. When our staff struck a conversation with her mother, Teju*, their story was nothing short of tragic. Teju came to the Mumbai to find a job and ended up working at the red-light area (RLA) for money to save her struggling family back in Kolkata. When Sneha was born, Teju struggled with depression, substance abuse and battled suicidal thoughts.

Fast forward to when we met Sneha and Teju, our staff invited them to visit our after-school programme (ASP) and that Sneha could be a part of it. They both immediately agreed and Sneha began attending ASP. As time went on, a smiling and curious Sneha began behaving very aggressively, beating and fighting with other students.She became a rebel, not wanting to obey any of the rules laid out for students to practice discipline in class. Our tutors noticed her actions and probed further to find why she was behaving this way. They found that Sneha was dealing with great trauma and abuse at home. Her mother often beat her and made her do all the household chores which led to a lot of frustration, fights and physical abuse. She was seeking the love and attention at ASP that she lacked at home.

Sneha’s story is just one among the many who are affected by her traumatic life in the brothel. Her story is a reflection of the thousands of children who carry years of trauma in them, unable to express their grief and struggle, eventually succumbing to the ways of life in the RLA. How can we impact their lives for the better? Our team counselled Sneha during one-on-one sessions regularly, teaching her the importance of knowing right and wrong and doing what is right. Every time Sneha was disciplined for her actions, she withdrew but our team continued to help her understand and realise the repercussions of her actions. With life skills sessions, Sneha has learnt to deal with her emotions and we see visible changes in her behaviour. We are positive that this is just the beginning of Sneha creating a hopeful and bright future for herself.

Sneha wants to grow up and become a police officer one day.

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Dear friends and patrons,As 2022 draws to a close, I would like for us to look back at a year that heralded in new directions for Oasis India: year one of the 5-year strategic plan of new partnerships, a year of social enterprise, and organisational sustainability.While it was certainly challenging in many ways, it also showed how strong our commitment to the vision and mission are as an organisation – be it as board members, supporters, members of senior management, the national leadership team, or project staff.We can take pride in the fact that we resumed the annual Mukthi Bike Challenge this year, launched Oasis India’s 5-year strategic plan for 2022–2027, and started a new integrated community empowerment project in Assam—Oasis Academy Guwahati and Football for Life (FFL). We also initiated potential partnership discussions with PCI-Mizoram for anti-human trafficking and Thrive for Good under food security, etc. These great achievements lays the foundation for our work in the upcoming new year.There were notable life-changing stories of beneficiaries in each of Oasis India’s hubs and the many other challenges we overcame as a team. Successes achieved in a time when we were forced to adapt to very adverse circumstances So, I want to thank all our staff for the hard work and commitment they have shown over the past year. Our combined strength is what makes us flourish as an organisation.Thank you, our supporters, for walking this journey of growth and development hand in hand with us. As you celebrate Christmas with friends and family, I hope you will look back on the year with the same sense of accomplishment and joy that we all feel at Oasis India.I wish you and your family a happy Christmas season and a prosperous 2023! Best regards,Mangneo LhungdimExecutive Director,Oasis India