How Mukti Empowered Women in Red Light Areas

By: Village Volunteers

Published On: May 29, 2018

Funds raised: Rs. 8,55,992
Duration: 99 days

The brave women in a red light district, bicycle their way into underprivileged areas and distribute sanitary pads to girls.

Menstruation stays a taboo topic in India, and the source of this taboo is rooted in the culture of gender inequality and misogyny we have inherited from our ancestors. Menstrual hygiene is under-discussed, and this repression victimizes particularly the less privileged. Underprivileged girls who cannot afford menstrual protection often use rags to manage their periods. Using cloth requires clean water, soap and privacy to dry.  Unavailability of these basics compel them to reuse rags. Damp rags harbor bacteria and result in an increased risk of fungal and bacterial infections and urinary and reproductive tract diseases.

In such horrible conditions, when a girl starts menstruating, without supplies, she misses crucial learning days, often a week per month. Education takes a backseat to biology. These girls often do poorly on exams, dropping out of school and forced into child marriage or prostitution. 

Project Mukti, run by Urmi Basu’s NGO New light India, decided to step in and address this problem as a part of the women’s empowerment movement that is making headlines in India every day. 

What Project Mukti was about

MUKTI - FREEDOM in Sanskrit, is a project that tries to empower two vulnerable sections at the same time. The Mukti pad manufacturing company provides employment to women from intergenerational prostitution families, and these pads are provided to vulnerable rural girls to enable them to stay in school through a sponsorship program.

Why Project Mukti needed funds

Mukti aims to liberate 15 more women. They want to bring together a bicycle sales force. The women were selected with special consideration to mothers living in the red light district.  This program wanted to loan bicycles with baskets to carry pads, provide 6 months of stock,  and offer counseling, and training in business and marketing to the force. 

How did Project Mukti raise funds?

Project Mukt collaborated with Village Volunteers for raising funds to leverage their networking capabilities. Village Volunteers started a fundraiser on Impact Guru, India’s leading crowdfunding platform to raise funds effectively through crowdfunding in India.

Social media promotion: Village volunteers recognised the immense potential of social media promotion in crowdfunding process. Their exceptionally well written posts and frequent updates to the fundraiser helped them to generate empathy for these women.

Rewards: Village volunteers rewarded donors with like handmade scarfs, and shoutouts on social media. People donate for such projects out of generosity, without expecting anything in return, but are always glad to be appreciated.

Partnerships: This fundraiser received higher visibility and donations as it was a part of Project Inspire, an initiative by Impact Guru, in association with influential organisations like UN, INSEAD, Mastercard etc, corroborating the authenticity of the fundraiser as well.

Outstanding success of Village Volunteer’s fundraiser on Impact Guru 

Project Mukti not only surpassed the target amount of their fundraiser but raised double of that amount in just 99 days. They raised Rs. 8,55,104 with donations from 373 people from India and abroad taking advantage of tax benefit given by Impact Guru to donors from US and UK. 

Project Mukti’s heartwarming message to all donors

“We would like to express our deep gratitude for those who have donated and are helping to spread the word as a vote of confidence for the Mukti Sanitary Pad Project located in the Kalighat red light district.”

One of the women from project Mukti added, "I have experienced a lot of joy in learning a new skill that will allow me to earn a living. Kalighat is a community where most households experience extreme abuse and violence and I don't want my daughter to be surrounded by the suffering and anger the people here experience as a result.”

This fundraiser helped many women to find their way out of the cruel life and gave them a ray of hope. If you are leading a project project which can change hundreds of lives come, join us, raise funds on Impact Guru and fuel your dream of making an impact. 

Visit their fundraiser page here.

To start a fundraiser for a cause or NGO you care about, click here.

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