Due to extreme poverty and years of exploitation, our employees come to us under significant physical duress. Some still live in the brothels. None have explored their city outside of the brothel district to which they have been confined. Most struggle with various health issues and have lacked the ability to get proper treatment. They have never been taught about diet, nutrition, exercise, and basic sanitation. In short, their physical health, wellness, and safety is in serious jeopardy.
The very first step–the micro level–is to safeguard our employees’ personal health and wellness. To start, we provide them with health insurance coverage that allows them to see qualified health professionals and specialists. Our human development manager assists them with finding the right providers and making appointments ranging from OB/GYN to dentists. In the absence of physical health, our employees are unable to do their job with Savhera or move outward in the PIES model towards taking care of their families and communities.
Beyond physical health, we want to ensure they live in a safe environment. Any employee that is still living in the brothel is assisted with finding alternative housing in a safe and secure location where she feels empowered to come and go as she pleases.
Survivors of exploitation on GB Road have also been socially and geographically isolated from exploring other parts of their city. They know only the brothel district and nothing beyond it. Therefore, at this stage, we also teach them about their city, how to use the metro and bus system, and how to read a map. In fact, one day per month, the human development manager takes a group of employees on a “field trip” to visit one of the many incredible sites in Delhi.
The final part of this aspect of the model is to teach the employees about basic sanitation, nutrition, and exercise. It is imperative that as they are aware of preventative health and how they can be proactive with the personal choices that they make in ensuring their future health and wellness.