Children from all walks of life and from every kind of background deserve an opportunity of education but few people see the value attached to it. Priti Patkar was one person who understood the importance of educating the children of sex workers and took a wonderful initiative to make it a reality. Priti has made her mark as a human rights activist and social worker by making tangible difference in the lives of these children from the red-light areas of Mumbai through her organization called Prerana.
Priti was born in Mumbai and her father was a government servant while her mother ran a day-care for the neighbourhood kids. She completed her Masters in Social Work from Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences and is a Gold Medallist too. Her 28-year effort towards the rescue and protection of victims of human trafficking and exploitation, is unparalleled. Her marriage to social activist Pravin Patkar further strengthened her resolve to take her work a step further.
Prerana was found in the year 1986 and went on to launch many pioneering efforts that are landmarks on their own. Prerana has three strategically placed centres at red-light areas like Kamathipura, Falkland Road and Vashi. Prerana has the distinction of starting the World’s first night-care right in the midst of a red-light area and also starting an Educational program for children of sex workers. Priti also has organized a Placement programme for the rehabilitated and also the AIDS affected children.
Priti has been invited to speak and share her thoughts in India and abroad because of her unique body of work. The Government of India too has acknowledged the tremendous effort Priti and her organization Prerana has pioneered for the neglected areas of society. Prostitution and the stigma attached to it did not deter Priti from connecting to the commercial sex workers and to listen to their plight and problems. This injustice meted out to this section of the society was something that Priti has set out to alter and has done exactly that for the past three decades.
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