Peer Education and Alternative Income: An Effective Mainstreaming Strategy for Devadasi (Temple Prostitutes) Women to Leave Sex Trade in Bellary District, Karnataka, India

World Vision efforts to raise general awareness for HIV and AIDS through mobile medical camps
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This paper provides an overview of a World Vision India project aimed at improving conditions of devadasi women (temple prostitutes), other sex workers, and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Bellary, India.The program addressed 650 devadasi households and approximately 1,000 OVC. Project activities, which involved HIV/AIDS related prevention, treatment, care, support and advocacy, resulted in:

  • Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS through mobile medical camps among the most at-risk population;
  • Providing education, care and support to more than 700 OVC by forming children's clubs;
  • Training devadasis as peer educators and small business owners;
  • Developing strong linkages with government, NGOs and other service providers.

The paper highlights the project's focus on children and engagement of the larger community. Finally, it outlines lessons learnt and challenges encountered by the project.

About this Publication

By Benjamin, A. & Edward, V.