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  project name ~ Sinchan (2013)- Shelter for children of Sex workers; West Bengal

category ~ Education - Child




  Project Name


Sinchan (2013)- Shelter for children of Sex workers; West Bengal






Education - Child



24 South Paragnas



West Bengal

  Budget Approved


Rs 380000


  Year Approved







  Chapter Coordinators


Bhavna Sengupta


College Park









Sinchan” is a shelter for children of sex workers in 24 South Parganas, West Bengal. Sinchan is one of the many projects coordinated by “Nishtha”, a totally community based grass roots level women’s organization started in the 70s that works for the empowerment and development of down trodden women living in the rural areas of West Bengal.

Sinchan started out as a night shelter for the children of sex workers in 24 South Parganas five years ago in 2006. With the support of ASHA and AID, it has been functioning as a day shelter as well for the past 3 years (2010-2013). Sinchan has provided protection, relief and ensured essential rights for the 41 (current) children who are a part of the shelter.





• Incidences of child abuse and victimization significantly reduced to almost none, except during festival seasons when influx of clients and strangers were greater. • More than 90% of the children were practicing personal hygiene habits. Senior children were beginning to help younger children in developing a more consistent routine. • Retention of the children in formal schools had gone up. This affected the children positively in numerous ways, but notably they began to behave more similarly to the other children of the surrounding society (i.e., they weren’t using offensive language as much and were beginning to behave less violently) • In total 11 children were retained to High School during 2012, and all of them attended school regularly, appeared for their Annual Examination, and all of them got through to the next class successfully (except for 4 who had chicken pox and missed the annual exams.) 2 tutors have been employed which has had a great impact on the children. • 2 girls had successfully been protected from the sex trade, and made it all the way through to college. They are enrolled as second year students at Dhruba Halder College at Dakshin Barasat under Calcutta University. One girl decided on a BA in Philosophy, and the other decided on a BA in Bengali. •All children had been provided with learning and teaching materials including subject books, exercise books, drawing books, and hand writing practicing books. •In terms of extra curricular activities, a song instructor, dance instructor, and drawing instructor was employed for the shelter, and the children were provided with books of poems, songs, and arts and crafts materials. •Once a month meetings were held with the mothers regarding the children’s health and education, and 120 ‘one-on-one’ sessions and 64 ‘small group’ sessions were held as well.





The shelter ensures their safety & security, foster care, nutritional support, healthcare, clothing, non-formal/formal teaching, recreation (story-telling, arts and crafts, games, singing, dancing, etc.), and access to a proper education. Nishtha also works to ensure the retention of these children in school, and works on reducing the huge gap between these children and civilized society. Nishtha is attempting to sensitize the community and to mobilize the people at large to accept these children as members of society. They are helping to make these children an integral part of the school system and helping to create a safer more tolerant environment for them in society at large.



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