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biofarm - himmatgram
Encouraging sex workers to leave a profession where they earn quick money and have developed addictions to alcohol and tobacco is difficult. Despite the challenges their profession brings and the social stigma attached to it in many cases, they cannot see an alternative. People living with HIV also face prejudice and their ART medication weakens them, making holding down a job and providing for their families extremely difficult.
How we help?
Our Himmatgram or 'Hamlet of Courage' stands in 25 acres of arable land on the outskirts of Ahmednagar, complete with its own poly tunnel, well and reservoir. It provides food for our other projects as well as a safe haven and gainful employment for a number of HIV+ families.
Who we help?
This biofarm has become a community for former sex workers and HIV+ beneficiaries ready to make a new life for themselves and their families. Here they learn how to become self-sufficient in a rural setting, gaining skills in organic farming, crop rotation, irrigation and dairy farming.
Our live-in project manager ensures they receive all the support they need to farm their own produce with the excess going to supply our Rehab Centre. He also counsels them through their transition to rural life, medical treatment and respite care - the farm has become their family home.
How you can help?
We have been reaping the benefits of their harvests of delicious mango, tomato, corn, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, okra and more since 2009. We need your help in buying seeds and tools and also to maintain our machinery, including our water pumps which help keep our crops irrigated.
Shashikant is our resident green-fingered expert. Intelligent and compassionate, he has helped our bio farm grow to what it is today.
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