Grant Status $7978 needed

Please log in to donate!
Expected Usage of Funding
Supplies, Furniture:
Labor and Salaries:
Raw Materials:


To educate children from caste-ghettoes trapped in inter-generational prostitution in Delhi so that they do not become victims of sex-trafficking.


After Ruchira Gupta, won an Emmy in 1996, for her documentary,"The Selling of Innocents,"which exposed the trafficking of women and girls from Nepal to India, she started Apne Aap. Apne Aap means Self-Action in Hindi. It started with a Mandala ( Circle) of 22 women in prostitution. The idea of the Mandala and the name Apne Aap were chosen to represent collective self-action. Ruchira had been saved by the 22 women, who formed a circle around her, when a man stuck a knife at her throat to stop her from filming. The women told the man, that he would have to kill them first. Knowing it would be too much trouble, the man slunk away.
It was initially called Apne Aap Women's Collective ( 1998) and later registered in 2002 as Apne Aap Women Worldwide. Ruchira had to leave Apne Aap Women's Collective along with the 22 founding women, because one of the original trustees ( a businessman) turned out to be a pedophile and refused to resign. During this period of struggle and transition, the women and Ruchira, were given a lot of support by other women's groups in India and all over the world. That is why they decided to add women worldwide to the name Apne Aap. It was to depict circles of solidarity that the Apne Aap women enjoyed from all corners of the earth.
The founding members had four dreams:
School for their children
A room of their own
A job in an office
These dreams were Apne Aap's first business plan. Apne Aap translated these derams into four rights:
Right to Education
Right to safe and independent housing'
Right to a sustainable and dignified livelihood
Right to access justice
Through the efforts of a board member, Apne Aap was given a room in a municipal school in a red-light area. This room was a safe place to run a classroom, converse, sleep, repair torn clothes, bathe and receive mail. Apne Aap hired a teacher and began to prepare the children for school. Once the children were ready for school, Apne Aap staff went with the mother's mandala to the school principal, begged, pleaded and cajoled for school admissions. He relented.
Fast forward: The children did well in school. Today they are animation artists, managers in pizza parlors, design graduates from Bard, lawyers and coders. Apne Aap's work has expanded to over 20,000 women, girls and their family members in Forbesganj, Bihar, Delhi and Kolkata in West Bengal. More than 1,000 children of prostituted and at-risk women have graduated from schools and colleges with Apne Aap's help. Over 91 traffickers have been jailed.
Though only one of the twenty-two founding women is still alive-the others have since passed away from hunger, suicide, and AIDS-related complications, their dreams live on. Apne Aap Mandalas (self-action groups) continue to meet across the country at Apne Aap community centers.


**Right to EducationMore than a 1,000 children from red-light areas have been educated by Apne Aap. More than 200 have finished college. An equal number are at various levels of education. This intervention has broken the cycle of Inter-Generational Prostitution. **Safe and Independent SpaceOver 3,000 women from red-light areas have been able to move out, rent their own homes or get a government plot and build their own homes, thanks to Apne Aap's efforts.**Livelihoods More than 5,000 women have started their own small businesses, opened bank accounts, availed loans, got jobs, with the help of Apne Aap. Two of its most successful businesses are a sanitary pad making business and a conference bag making business.**Justice
More than 90 traffickers have been jailed based on action taken by Apne Aap. One is undergoing life imprisonment-the first life imprisonment of a trafficker in India. Apne Aap has also contributed to advocacy which led to India's first national law defining trafficking: Section 370 I.P.C. It has also helped a state government, Bihar, create the frist ever bottom-up framework to combat human trafficking.
Its founder wrote the first manuals for the UN to train police and prosecutors on trafficking. It has trained more than 5,000 officers as a result of this manual.

Team Credentials

Apne Aap's team for this project is led by a Masters in Arts in Social Work in Delhi. She is supported by a team of teachers who are trained in English, Math, Sports, Pottery, Art, Computers and coding..