The status of women in India has changed over a period of time. While a majority of women in towns and cities can now study, vote and even hold jobs, in the interiors of the country, they have no rights, only serving the purpose of procreation and nothing more. A lot of women also still face abuse in India. Where there were hardly any stories aired on national and local news channels in the past, with the advent of social media, it’s now become evident that this happens to women from all communities and strata of society. Goa is no different. Luckily for some women, whether destitute, rejected or abandoned, Street Providence, an NGO based out of Saligão will now be able to come to their rescue. The NGO now adds a free home for destitute, rejected and abandoned women to their good deeds.
Giving destitute women a second chance at life
Donald Fernandes, the founder of Street Providence, along with his team of volunteers, have been doing good work for the past 6 years. From installing a tap in his own compound to provide free water to the community, to even buying an ambulance and ferrying the poor to hospitals and even cooking for the poor that could not afford meals on their own, Street Providence has worked miracles for some. This year, the Food Bank for the Poor in Saligão celebrated their first anniversary.
Street Providence has gone a step further to help women in need. An idea that was thought over and spoken about has now come to fruition. Donald says, “One day I was sharing this with Sister Fatima, Superior General FMCK(Christ the King) about a home for such women in distress and she gave me a suggestion which I could not believe.”
“Sr. Fatima offered to join us in this work by allowing us to use a home at Saligão which was to house such a project for destitute women,” he said.
Sanjoe Niwas in Saligão will be home to these destitute women
The name of the house offered by Sr. Fatima is Sanjoe Niwas in Sonar Bhat, Saligão. Donald and the other volunteers, in collaboration with the police, have already started helping these women. The help of local law enforcement is an absolute necessity. Only after they pick up and register the women, does Street Providence take over the rehabilitation process.
Sanjoe Niwas will be blessed by the Archbishop of Goa, Felipe Neri Ferrão on the 6th of July, 2018.
It’s difficult to find buildings for this kind of charitable purpose. People often do not want to help for various reasons. It’s also expensive. Therefore, instead of having to rent a house, furnish it and employing full-time female assistance, Donald is extremely grateful to the provincial of FMCK, Sr. Vandana along with Sr. Fatima for offering Sanjoe Niwas. Now, these destitute women can be kept off the street and out of trouble. Sanjoe Niwas will be looked over by a full-time nun whose services have been offered by Sr. Fatima.
For anyone, being destitute, abandoned and rejected, and left to fend for themselves on the street is a horrible situation. It’s twice as bad for a woman.
The authorities will also be involved in making sure the women get to Street Providence
The Goa police have been tapped to assist with picking up women needing help. Street Providence is eager to offer rehabilitation to women who are destitute, abandoned and rejected by their families. Even women that have been harassed or abused will be taken in. All of it will be free of cost, therefore giving these women a second chance to live a proper life again.
Street Providence has offered a few guidelines in making sure that these women get the help they deserve. They request the public to make a note of the following.
1. Send details thru WhatsApp only on 8380097564 of the person.
2. Check with the woman as to whether she absolutely requires rehabilitation.
3. Go to the local police station and speak to the Inspector in charge and tell him about the situation.
4. The woman will be picked up based on the inspector’s recommendation.
They also request that the person calling in the situation waits for the police vehicle to arrive so that that can offer up more information if necessary.
Getting in touch with Street Providence
The good people at the NGO understand that not all can offer their time but they do have a few requests. After, a little help sometimes goes a long way. They ask that people contribute generously towards helping these destitute women. Volunteer services are always welcome.
Donations to all the good work by Street Providence volunteers may be done only by cheques / NEFT / groceries/fuel vouchers etc. They do not accept cash donations.
For more information or if you would like to volunteer, Street Providence can be contacted via Whatsapp only. Check out their Facebook pages, mentioned below, for news about all the other work they are doing.
More information on Street Providence
Note:- Any images in this article are for representation only.