Apne Aap Girls Commemorate Hiroshima Day

This is how Apne Aap girls from Singhi, Perna, and Sapera communities in Najafgarh commemorated Hiroshima Day by displaying 1000 paper cranes at the Press Club of India on August 6th, 2016.

The paper cranes have been put up for display from 6 August, Hiroshima Day to 9 August, Quit India Day, to demand peace for children all over the world.

Article in Times of India

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Kolkata Live Music Program

Kolkata Live music program performed by Jennifer Hemstra and the children at South City International School on July 8th, 2016.

A total of 62 children and women from Khidderpore and Topsia attended the music concert.

Photo Credit: Kolkata Classic Club

Photo Credit: Kolkata Classic Club, Isha Daga

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Photo Credit: Kolkata Classic Club, Isha Daga

PeaceWalk Campaign in Delhi, 5th of July 2016

Apne Aap in collaboration with International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) launched a PeaceWalk campaign to end sexual violence against women by spreading awareness among the masses. Women and children led the PeaceWalk, followed by Ruchira Gupta and Apne Aap activists. The Walk started from
Sapera Basti to MCD Primary School in Dharampura (Najafgarh). Thereafter, an Open Mike Session was held at the School on the theme of child marriage.

Read more about the PeackWalk in these article in the New Delhi Times and This Day

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Apne Aap Founder Ruchira Gupta writes for The Telegraph in the Bihar Safarnama series

Articles written by our Founder Ruchira Gupta, from the series Bihar Safarnama for The Telegraph.

Take a look using the links below:

Auto Ride Powered by A Woman’s Grit 

Why Smart is not Always Smart for India

English-vinglish: Language & legacy

Socialist legacy, Orwell & beyond

The victims of superstition across centuries & oceans

Future driven by glorious past

Idyllic setting, a life of ideals

Dream Soar Over Poverty

Nutty success story: makhana’s amazing journey

Nature’s bounty, poverty paradox

Weavers of history apt case for a museum of the living

Legacy of social justice, hope for change

What India can learn from Bihar

 

How our school in Bihar saves girls from Prostitution featured in Los Angeles Times

Check out Barbara Davidson’s visit to Apne Aap in this article in LA Times:

This school in India saves girls as young as 12 from the family business: prostitution

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Bihar Leads The Way
 
You can help:
1. Donate here to support girls to learn, play, and stay safe…
2. Tweet the following messages:
@ApneAap #Bihar #school saves #girls from #Prostitution by @photospice @ruchiragupta #ApneAap http://fw.to/KfJCJ0 donate www.apneaap.org
or
@ApneAap #Bihar #India #school saves #girls from #Prostitution by @photospice @LATimes @ruchiragupta http://fw.to/KfJCJ0
3. Facebook and email the link to your friends and family:
Do take a moment to see the compelling photos and captions by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson in Los Angeles Times on how
This School in India Saves Girls from Prostitution. The girls are not passively waiting for their future- they are playing, laughing, studying, happy…facing the menace of the world outside with joy and spirit.
4. If possible go to the comments section below the photo-essay
5. Instagram any of the photos crediting Barbara Davidson, LA Times.

Caption: LA Times Article on Apne Aap’s school in India saving girls from prostitution: http://fw.to/KfJCJ0 Support Apne Aap by visitingwww.ApneAap.org/Donate and share the photo with #ApneAap

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

A blog written by Apne Aap team member, Juanita Kakoty, Documentation and Communication Specialist

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Blog 1 by Juanita: About the forced eviction at Topsia in Kolkata in 2012, where slum dwellers of about 2,000 people looked on as their homes were demolished without prior notice, without any legal procedure. Apne Aap and Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) made an assessment about the losses incurred by the evicted families and the vulnerabilities they have been subjected to, including the peril of being trafficked. This blog piece also covers the Delhi launch of the report.

Blog 2 by Juanita: On an open mike session conducted by Juanita along with Kari Egge (founder of Half the World) at the community in Najafgarh, Delhi NCR about a woman’s right to decide how many children she wants to have.

Week-long Theatre workshop held in Apne Aap’s Delhi Office!

Kriti Sharma, the Creative Director of The Theatre Collective, ran a theatre workshop from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July with a group of approximately 15 girls from Najafgarh in the Apne Aap office in Delhi. The workshop ran Monday through Friday every day from about 3 pm to 5 pm.

The first day Kritheatre workshop 4ti aimed at establishing a sense of trust and security with the girls and started the workshop off with crazy dancing, encouraging the girls to move freely and let go of any tension. Afterwards, she made everyone sit in a big circle for the next series of activities: she would ask a question and then throw a ball to one of the girls, and after answering the question, she would pass it on to someone else. This way everyone got actively engaged in the activity and slowly started to open up as the comfort zone was being established. The first question was “what do you love most in this world” and many answered “parents”, “siblings”, “cousins” whilst others were more philosophical, saying things like “honesty”, “friendship” and “studying”. The next step involved telling the person to your right what you like most about them, thereby creating a wonderful environment of appreciation and affection.

Kriti htheatre workshop 3ad by now laid the first stepping stone and was ready the next day to start with the theatrical aspect of the workshop. She divided the girls into two groups and instructed them to enact a scene of “kids having fun at school.” Both performances cleverly started with the school bell ringing and with the girls running into the playground with big smiles on their faces and using their scarves as jump-ropes or balls. The next scene now had to involve a “problem” of any kind; the first group came up with a teacher beating his students for not completing their homework and the second group showed one of the girls getting injured on her way home.

Time ran out so the third day the workshop started with the two groups re-enacting the two scenes, though this time Kriti asked the girls to think of an even “greater problem”, one that is deep rooted and not only causes physical pain, but also psychological discomfort. The theatre theatre workshop 2workshop was aimed at dealing with child sexual abuse but Kriti had never mentioned it… all on their own, the girls chose “greater problems” that addressed the issue of child abuse. One group depicted a scene with a male teacher holding one of the schoolgirls back and then trying to inappropriately touch her. The other group instead showed a girl coming home from college and being eve-teased by guys on the street, which lead the mother to forbidding her daughter from going to study. The final scene had to portray a solution to the problem or a way of coping with the issue at hand, so the first group decided to close their performance with the schoolgirls standing behind the victim as they decide to go to the principal and then addressing the audience with a powerful question: “are you also supporting me?” The solution in the second group was a representative from Apne Aap coming to the home of the victim and persuading the mother to let her daughter go to college since education is a fundamental tool in the path of self-empowerment.

The girls continued rehearsing their scenes all of Thursday and were ready by Friday for the big performance. With a wonderful audience of about 15 people from Apne Aap and the neighbouring office, the girls totally rocked their performance! The girls professionally acted out their roles and proudly received “Certificates of Participation” and a small children’s book at the end of the performance, whilst the entire audience was enthusiastically clapping along. And to top it all off, there were samosas as a treat for our young actors and the wonderfully supportive audience!

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Comic book workshop held in Apne Aap’s Delhi office!

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On July 2nd 2015, 15 girls participated in a comic book workshop in Apne Aap’s head office, conducted by Ram Devineni, Producer, Director and Co-writer of the Priya’s Shakti comic book.

The girls were taught basics of drawing a body and a face and how to use speech and thought bubbles. They were also taught how to draw a comic book poster. The girls drew their schools, their family etc. They were enthusiastic and did a great job!

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Urgent Help Needed for Girls and Women in Nepal

Urgent help needed in Nepal after devastating earthquake

Apne Aap’s main center in Forbesganj is only 14km away from Biratnagar in Nepal. A devastating earthquake has hit Nepal and Apne Aap needs to start a soup kitchen and get clothes and water there. Women and girls are sitting in the open with their families and they urgently need our help.

Earthquake hits Nepal - 25 Apr 2015

Photograph: News Agency/REX Shutterstock via The Guardian

Dear Friend,

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has hit Nepal, killing over a thousand people. According to the United Nations over a million people may end up without shelter. Aftershocks are still occurring. During disasters women and girls are disproportionately affected. We work 14 km away from Nepal in Forbesganj, Bihar and have partners rooted in communities in Bihar and Nepal. We need money for food, soup kitchens, medical supplies, clothes and to run safe spaces for women and girls.

Please make a gift. Your support is urgently needed so that Apne Aap and its friends and partners can support women and girls in Nepal during this devastating crisis.

Thank you,

Ruchira Gupta

Founder, Apne Aap Women Worldwide

To read the article in The Guardian: Click Here

To read the article in The New York Times: Click Here

 

You can donate online by clicking here

Checks can me mailed to:

Apne Aap International

Peck Slip Station

PO Box 916 New York, NY 10272

Our Founder Ruchira Gupta is the NGO CSW/NY Woman of Distinction Awardee for 2015

unnamedAll of us at Apne Aap Women Worldwide are pleased to share some exciting news with you! This year’s NGO CSW/NY Woman of Distinction awardee is our founder Ruchira Gupta. We are so pleased to announce this honor and share our joy with you! Please find the official press release below…

Press Release:

NGO CSW/NY Announces 2015 NGO CSW Woman of the Year Distinction Awardee
January 28, 2015 – New York, NY – The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY), one of three women’s committees of CoNGO that advocates for women’s rights and gender equality, is pleased to announce the 2015 NGO CSW Forum Woman of Distinction awardee, Ruchira Gupta from India, founder of Apne Aap Women Worldwide.

After winning an Emmy for her documentary on sex trafficking, The Selling of Innocents, Gupta started Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an anti-sex trafficking organization in India that empowers more than 20,000 low-caste girls and women and their family members affected by prostitution. She received the Clinton Global Citizen award for giving a voice to the voiceless and for tenaciously standing by the last girl in brothels in Bihar and India.

For over 25 years, Gupta has worked to end sex trafficking by emphasizing the link between trafficking and prostitution laws and lobbying policy makers to shift blame from victims to perpetrators. In 2000, she testified in the United States Senate before the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and addressed the UN General Assembly on human trafficking.

Gupta will be the keynote speaker at the NGO CSW/NY Consultation Day (8 March 2015 at the Apollo Theatre) along with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women. The formal presentation of the NGO CSW/NY Woman of Distinction award will take place at the annual NGO Reception (9 March 2015 at the Armenian Convention Center Ballroom, 6 pm–8 pm). This year’s theme of the UN Commission on the Status of Women is the 20th review of the Beijing Platform for Action.

About the Women of Distinction Award:
This annual award is given to a woman in recognition of her leadership in the struggle for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The honoree is a leading activist from a developing country who can address the theme of the CSW, will benefit from participation in Consultation Day, and make a difference when she returns home.

About the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY:
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY) is one of the three women’s committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO). Under CoNGO’s umbrella, the NGO CSW committees helped plan the NGO Forums at the UN World Conferences in Mexico, Copenhagen, Nairobi, and Beijing. NGO CSW/NY is a volunteer-based, non-profit NGO funded largely by individual contributions.