Bergner Group, Cooperación Internacional and Grace Harvest Ministry to Support Women Working in Red-Light Areas of Mumbai Through Training and Upskilling

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Mumbai: ‘Second Chance’ is a pProject by Cooperación Internacional, a Spain-based NGO with its presence since 1993, and Grace Harvest Ministry (GHM), a Mumbai-based NGO working in slum areas, with support from Bergner Group. Together, they aim to rehabilitate the lives of women working in red-light areas and give them means to a new livelihood and a source of income.

Bergner is a leading kitchenware company originating from Europe and with a growing presence in India. Through this initiative, it has committed support to women working in various red light areas of Mumbai by training them in basic educational, health and legal skills along with job training in the textile sector.

According to a recent survey by GHM, these women are in captivity and without any freedom. They suffer a heartbreaking history. The ones who no longer work in red light areas are ashamed to return to their homes and it is impossible for them to get any other job due to lack of education. This initiative hence provides basic training to these women, between the age of 14 and 45, to normalise their social reintegration. They are professionally trained in basic skills like sewing, a trade that opens the possibility of jobs in their local environment.

Speaking of this initiative, Deborah Belho, spokesperson of Bergner, said “We are proud to be a part of the ‘Second Chance’ project through which we have been able to contribute towards making a difference in the lives of marginalised women. This has only been possible with the support of trainers and coordinators from the Cooperación Internacional and GHM teams.”

Suryanarayan, Project Head and an ex-navy veteran, said “Through our project, we have been able to give these women a second chance to live a dignified life. We hope to rescue more women in the coming months and provide them with the necessary training and& skilling so that they can secure a sustainable livelihood.” 

Bergner Group has a few parallel social initiatives running, such as the ‘Youth Leadership Program’ that aims to provide holistic development to the less privileged children and ‘Water for All’ that arranges for infrastructure to ensure the constant supply of water in slum areas.