Project Udaan Shines Bright: A Decade of Empowering Marginalized Girls

Project Udaan Shines Bright: A Decade of Empowering Marginalized Girls

Project Udaan, an inspirational initiative under the Art of Living Foundation, founded by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, proudly celebrates a decade of unwavering dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating young girls from the depths of the sex trade in Sonagachi, Kolkata. This transformative journey is marked by the inauguration of a new center and a commemorative event, symbolizing the spirit of empowerment, resilience, and hope.

Sonagachi, one of South Asia’s largest red-light areas, has long been witness to the heart-wrenching plight of children born into the shadows of the sex trade. Project Udaan, under the visionary leadership of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, aspires to rewrite their destinies, reintegrating them into mainstream society and providing opportunities for a brighter future. Udaan Kanya Gurukul, the rehabilitation center situated in Pailan, West Bengal, stands as a sanctuary of healing, education, and empowerment for these courageous young girls.

The Udaan journey began in 2012 with the establishment of the Udaan Tutorial School in the heart of Sonagachi, providing basic education, yoga, dance, and music to the children of sex workers. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive solution, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living organization established the Udaan Kanya Gurukul in Pailan in June 2022. This shelter provides a safe haven for girls aged 6-18, liberating them from the shackles of daily exploitation and enabling their holistic growth. Presently, around 50 girls are embraced by this haven of hope, with the vision extending to welcoming more than 150 girls over time.

Furthermore, the visionary project is set to extend its impact to boys as well, with plans for a dedicated shelter in its developmental stages.

Ms. Bharati Ganguly, President of Project Udaan, shared her thoughts on this milestone: “Project Udaan stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to the resilience of these girls and the transformative power of compassion. With our new center, we are determined to touch even more lives, empowering them to become agents of positive change in their communities.”

Arnab Acharjee, General Secretary of Project Udaan, added, “As we celebrate this milestone, we recommit to our mission of empowering marginalized children. Each girl we support is a symbol of hope and potential, and we envision a brighter future for all.”

Project Udaan’s enduring inspiration, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, envisions a stress-free, violence-free world and through this initiative, strives to embody these values, fostering change at its core. With a current enrollment of 46 girls, Project Udaan envisions each girl as a beacon of light, hope, and change.

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