Between 2010 and 2012, the number of live female births in India as compared to the number of live male births was an alarming 908 to 1,000. This skewed sex ratio at birth indicates that the age-old practice of female foeticide is, by no means, extinct.
However, individuals and organizations across the country have been fighting this inhuman practice. In Maharashtra for instance, NGO Snehalaya has campaigned for the eradication of female foeticide and infanticide in and around Ahmednagar district for over 20 years. It has rehabilitated infant girls rejected by their families and provided shelter to women and children in distress, among other efforts.
With the funds raised through the show, Snehalaya acquired a state-of-the-art ambulance to provide immediate medical aid to newborn girls abandoned on the roads or in garbage dumps. The organization also completed the construction of a new, three-storeyed shelter for women and children. Called Satyamev Jayate Bhavan, it was inaugurated on January 2013 and provides short-term lodging, counselling and vocational training.
At this shelter, 220 people can eat their meals together in the spacious dining hall. This is a welcome change compared to the 3-4 sittings it took earlier to serve the organization's staff and beneficiaries.
In addition, Snehalaya hosted a workshop in May 2013 to establish a nationwide network to fight injustice against women. This workshop explored links between natural calamities and human trafficking. All participants pledged to work towards putting an end to the trafficking of girls, and promised to help fight violence against women. On the same day, the NGO held an adoption drive where many children found new homes.
Moreover, people from diverse backgrounds extended their support to Snehalaya. Senior citizens donated their monthly pensions and domestic helpers, sex workers and others from the unorganized sector offered their earnings. The donations surpassed barriers of class and caste, proving that a collective effort can go a long way.
Since 1989, Snehalaya has been providing free healthcare and rehabilitation to the neglected and exploited in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Besides working for women and children in distress, Snehalaya reaches out to children with special needs, unwed mothers, survivors of rape and sexual assault, people with HIV/AIDS, and victims of human trafficking.