Most of Aarti's programs are long-term, but Aarti also receives directed grants or donations to run short-term initiatives. Below is a list of some of Aarti's past initiatives that have impacted greater communities in the Kadapa area.
CHILDLINE Awareness Drive
Mission: Create a 24/7 hotline for children in distress, in Kadapa. CHILDLINE receives calls about missing children, child labor, child marriage, sexual abuse, children needing shelter, trafficking and other abuses of child rights. Within 60 minutes of a call, a CHILDLINE worker will reach the child and offer help.
Implementation/Impact: To gain visibility of CHILDLINE’s services, Aarti led a mobile CHILDLINE Awareness drive in Kadapa. A van showcasing CHILDLINE and its toll free number drove through all major villages in Kadapa. Everywhere it went, the VFT CHILDLINE staff handed out pamphlets, put up posters, and answered questions, thereby educating many about this resource.
Sexual Assault Awareness Workshops
Duration: 6 months
Mission: Develop and run sexual assault awareness workshops for college aged women (16-18 years). Educate girls on their human and legislative rights in India by discussing how to report incidents where their rights were abused, even when that means approaching higher ranking police officials after the local police are unresponsive. Also discuss how to reject the idea of victim blaming and instead create a supportive culture where women feel safe and supported to report incidents of violence and harassment.
Implementation/Impact: The workshops of 25 students focused on personal stories, allowing the women to grapple with the realities of these situations and preparing them for possible situations through role-play. Aarti ran 100 workshops and reached a total of 2500 girls from 20 local colleges.
Partners/Sponsors: Light My Fire
Aarti Mobile Computer Lab Education Program
Mission: Introduce computers, technology, and the Internet to rural unprivileged children aged 13 to 15, with the end goal of widening their world view and preparing them an increasingly technology based society.
Implementation/Impact: The mobile computer lab consisted of 20 computers and two teachers who drove to a total of 21 government schools over the course of the 6 months, introducing a total of 1295 students to computer skills such as how to operate PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Microsoft Paint, and internet servers. In addition, a focus was placed on connecting the lessons to the students’ lives, with lessons given on how to book tickets, check exam scores online, how to use email, and research examples of gender equality in other societies. Aarti continues to use the laptops from this program to conduct computer training for local women and students.
Save the Girl Child Public Forum
Mission: In conjunction with International Girl Child Day, support a worldwide effort to raise awareness about the plight of the girl child.
Implementation/Impact: Aarti created the Save the Girl Child Public Forum as a local event to change attitudes about female foeticide, infanticide, and abandonment, a problem that is rampant in rural areas like Kadapa. The event featured a parade that included local adolescent males, workshops for young men to generate awareness of the precarious situation of their female peers, speakers to address the issue, and other activities. This annual event works towards creating a society in which girls are loved and appreciated as much as their male counterparts.
ICA Women's Leadership Training Program
Duration: 4 months
Mission: Facilitate a leadership initiative for rural Kadapa women which empowers women through teaching communication skills, leadership skills, and learned about women’s rights, health, education, computer skills, and local laws from knowledgeable professionals in Kadapa.
Implementation/Impact: 25 rural Kadapa women were selected to participate in these empowering and educational workshops. The tailoring unit at Aarti Home offered free tailoring training for the women to promote financial independence. When the women returned to their villages, they not only continued their own education and found jobs, but they also enrolled many local girls in school, demanded that the government fix roads that prevented children from going to school, decreased early marriage rates, and inspired others to learn about their personal and legal rights.
Partners/Sponsors: Indians for Collective Action (ICA)
Mission: Explore how creative practice positively impacts young lives in shelters.
Implementation/Impact: The children at Aarti created a shelter-themed mural at Aarti Home and Creative Junction filmed the process, along with the children’s thoughts about shelter, and created a film called The Playing Wall. Afterwards, three girls from Aarti were invited to London where they shared their films and stories about their lives with 8 UK schools.
Partners/Sponsors: Creative Junction CLC, UK
Cancer Detection Camp
Mission: Provide breast cancer screening for women in the greater Kadapa area, as many Aarti home children have lost mothers due to undetected cancer.
Implementation/Impact: Aarti ran a cancer detection camp at Aarti Home open to women in the greater community, which was advertised throughout Kadapa by the government and staffed by the director and accompanying doctors from the Hyderabad Cancer Institution. During this camp, Aarti home reached a total of 217 patients and found 18 people with secondary or third stage breast cancer. Aarti Home then made sure these women were referred to relevant institutions and provided each woman with some private funds.
Kadapa Disaster Relief
Mission: Contribute to immediate relief efforts for Kadapa villages destroyed by Kadapa floods.
Implementation/Impact: Since most families lost everything in the floods, the children and employees of Aarti helped make upcycled goods such as school bags, pencil bags, and blankets and distributed the items amongst the people. The government employees joked that the Aarti children were doing their job for them since the project was so successful!