New Light

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In 2002, Shadhika provided seed funding to the New Light Project in Kalighat, the notorious red-light area in Kolkata. Situated in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, New Light aims to educate the children of sex workers. In particular, it seeks to break the cycle of poverty and prostitution for young girls who find themselves in the same profession, after having watched since birth their mothers ply their trade.

From a group of thirty-three children at its inception, New Light has grown into an organization that currently supports more than 2,500 boys and girls. Operating during “working hours” for mothers in Kalighat, New Light provides educational support, healthcare, nutrition, immunization, computer training and recreational opportunities to kids. Services have been extended to teach sex workers about healthcare and HIV/AIDS care and to help them become functionally literate.

In 2005, New Light started the Soma Home, a shelter to insulate girls from the lives of their mothers. In 2009, New Light added Sonar Tori, a shelter for older girls, either those who’ve graduated from the Soma Home or have escaped trafficking and now want to build a new life for themselves. Designed for girls over 18 who have finished the first level of education, allows girls a safe-haven as they get ready to spread their wings. The shelter can accommodate up to seven girls. In 2014, New Light will open Khela Ghar, a safe house for young boys wishing to escape the cycle of violence against women in Kalighat.

Read about the impact of this support

Over the years Shadhika has provided general operating support to New Light to help it grow. We have been happy to see their success over time.