Baale Mane (“girls home”) at Gopalapura is a home for 64 girls between the ages of 6 and 21 located on the outskirts of Bangalore. Baale Mane provides a shelter and a loving home for girls who are orphans or have a single parent who is unable to care for them. A number of the girls have been rescued from forced domestic service. Baale Mane focuses on teaching girls and young women how to overcome the oppressive socially accepted roles and expectations of women in their community. Baale Mane teaches the girls how to productively challenge the rigid norms dictating gender structures and power inequities in their communities. Baale Mane helps the girls make educated, informed choices surrounding their careers, sexuality, and well-being.
Their goal is to equip each girl with the necessary skills to lead an independent life. The programs (formal education, transition and independence program, and sexual health workshops with gender specialists and local gynecologists) vary according to each age group and what the girls aspire to accomplish. Shadhika’s support funds the formal education and life skill training for the young women in the Transition and Independence Program, including girls who were once at Baale Mane and are now attending college nearby. The girls in this program are equipped with the knowledge and tools to help them live an independent, self-sustaining life.