Aarti started with the idea of taking care of a few girl children and providing them a home and education. As the number of girls increased and we met with many women and other people from different walks of life, we realised that the magnitude of the issue was far greater than we had imagined. The discrimination against the girl child was deep rooted and needed to be addressed at a different level and on many fronts to change the societal mindset.
All of Aarti's activities and programmes have evolved in response to the immediate needs. For example, women were taught various livelihood skills so that they could be economically independent. From this a sad truth has emerged - that regardless of the opportunities provided, education, earning capacity there is little or no change in the status of women.
Lavanya's story is a stark reminder. In spite of being economically independent, she was made to abort four foetuses after sex determination tests showed that they were female. By this time she had already given birth to two beautiful girls.
Abandoned girl children were housed in Aarti Home, where they were given a loving home and supported in every way. 6000+ children have passed through our portals. Some of our girls have finished their education and are either working or married and have their own families. We have also rescued 1500+ girls who were child labourers, beggars or rescued from traffickers. These girls stayed at Aarti home for short durations before they were rehabilitated.
At Aarti Home we believe that the success of a child depends on the opportunities provided:
Every child has a unique potential regardless of their backgrounds.
Every child can realise her dream with the necessary support.
Love and affection make a child feel secure, confident and help her face life with self-respect and dignity.
The heart-breaking circumstances that bring each child to our home vary. They arrive deeply hurt and disturbed, especially those who were abandoned or sold off. Each child at Aarti Home is provided an environment for a happy childhood and the resources for a successful future.
AARTI HOME to AARTI VILLAGE
The students initially lived together in a dormitory, but along the way we realised that children needed more personalised attention and hence community living was better suited to our needs. This is how Aarti village, a space where the children can just be themselves as they grow, was born. The children ranging from 5 to 20 years live in a cottage where they eat, sleep, learn, and play, and are cared for by full time staff members.
Present Structure at Aarti Village
The Village – There are 9 cottages each housing 12 children of different age groups; each cottage is a part of this community with a supportive environment.
The House – Every home is unique with its own feel, rhythm and routine. The children in each cottage enjoy a sense of belonging, and create and care for their own spaces.
House-Mother – An older girl provides the security, love, emotional support and stability that every child needs.
Sisters – The children, as they grow, form naturally strong ties and lifelong bonds.