Udaan Women’s Empowerment Welfare Society


Udaan Women’s Empowerment Welfare Society (UWES) was founded by survivors of enforced sex work from Madhya Pradesh. The organisation helps girls from the Bediya and Bachda communities find an alternative path in life, as it works to bring an end to caste-based sexual slavery. The organisation works with thousands of girls engaged in forced prostitution and manual scavenging — a process of clearing faeces by hand which was outlawed in 1993 for its dehumanising nature. Udaan strives to bring an end to caste servitude and to promote equal education, better health services and social protection for girls and women of these marginalised communities. Crucially, it works on tackling the discrimination and stigmatisation these girls face every day, in order to allow them to become active participants in society. The organisation runs fellowship programmes for girls that aim to boost their chances in life. Udaan has also set up a “Dignity Centre”, a place for adolescent girls to meet and find support in a holistic manner. They are taught about their constitutional rights and how to be socially conscious. They can share experiences and learn about hygiene, sexual and reproductive health, peer pressure, confidence, life skills and self-esteem. Udaan’s programmes work to empower girls and women through education, providing them with increased options and choices for their futures. Udaan also helps girls to find work and access social security benefits and pension programmes, giving them a degree of independence that can allow them to make their own choices.