Prabhat Tara Sanstha (Bright Morning Star), India
This is a project based in the Sangli District in the Maratha state of India. One of the aims of the project is to provide skills and education to sex workers in Sangli and Miraj in order to help them move on to other employment. It also offers pre-school and after-school classes for their children. As well as ensuring a general education, the children learn new skills such as sewing and are encouraged to aim for a higher education. Empowering the children with such skills and learning, helps to reduce the number who may end up working in the sex industry from early adult life.
As many of the women have contracted HIV, Prabhat Tara Sanstha runs a home called House of Hope for orphans and the children of sex workers, as well as a safe house for those workers who have been abandoned because of illnesses caused by HIV.
The project also provides skills training in the nearby leper colony and in addition works closely with the large Wannless Christian Hospital based nearby providing free medical help to older vulnerable people, especially with cataract operations.
The Jade McMahon Memorial Hospice
As many of the children who are helped by the project live with HIV, a separate building has been built and is used as a hospice. In July that same year, a member of Positive Step’s staff, a young woman called Jade McMahon had died suddenly. Jade was only 26 years old and during her time with Positive Steps, had earned the respect and friendship of all the staff. She was dedicated to helping others in her working life and was always happy and full of energy. She is greatly missed by her family, friends and work colleagues. It was suggested that the hospice be named after her and with her family’s permission, this was done. Since opening in October 2012, the hospice has helped over 100 children.
In addition to Positive Steps funding, ongoing dedicated fundraising events are held by Jade’s family and friends. All of the funds raised are used directly for The Jade Memorial Hospice.
Trip to India
This is a really symbolic moment for Prabhat Tara Santha as the first of our older girls moves on from the House of Hope. Shubhangi is a credit to the hard work of Rev Timothy and the team at the House of Hope. She is a tremendously hard working student and was the Dux of the local school. She is speaking English very well and will no doubt do well at the nursing school.
All the women from the red light area, children of Home of Hope and the staff of Prabhat Tara Santha and Shubhangi Naik wants to give hearty thanks to God as well as Mr. Derek Sharkey Chief Executive Officer Positive Steps in Scotland. For encouraging and providing resources to pay first Year College Nursing fees of Shubhangi.
Shubhangi want to say thanks to God as well as Positive Steps. Because when her mother died of HIV/AIDS. Positive Steps took care of her by providing food, clothing’s, shelter and education. She has accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior.
In September 2012, Pastor Michael Rollo accompanied Derek Sharkey (chief executive of Positive Steps) to the Sangli and Miraj area of the country, a nine-hour train journey south from Mumbai. The two men met with Positive Steps contact the Rev. Timothy Jalam who operates nursery schools for the children of sex workers and HIV victims, adult literacy classes, an orphanage for the children of HIV victims, and a training programme to give sex workers help to find alternative means of supporting themselves and their families.