Swapnalaya or ‘House of Dreams” was established with Government approval on May 1,2020. Mumbai being one of the premier metro cities in India acts as a magnet both for traffickers who traffic children for domestic work or antisocial activities and runaway children escaping from unbearable family situations. Panvel being a major town linking Mumbai and being well connected by rail to all major cities in India, enables both traffickers as well as runaway children to reach the city relatively easily. Childline as well as the police are thus alert to the possibility of apprehending and rescuing such children at railway stations or on the streets of Mumbai and referring them to shelter homes for rehabilitation.
The first girl was received at Swapnalaya on May 2, 2020. Since then, 40 girls have been referred to this home, of which 28 have been rehabilitated by the end of November 2021.
Sports and Games played at the Shelter Home
During their leisure, the girls play Indoor Games like Carrom, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Chess and outdoor games like Musical Chairs, Kabaddi, Skipping Rope, Lemon and Spoon and constructing Glass Pyramids. These games help to improve their sporting spirit. To develop their artistic qualities two hours of art classes are conducted every day. Activities include making articles from chart paper, collages, papier Mache dolls, making lanterns and other hanging articles from jute, flowers from stocking material, glass painting, painting on glass bottles, gardening and wall painting. Besides the girls are also taught good handwriting, grammar, music and performing dances and skits.
Yoga and meditation
To promote their physical and mental health, the girls are taught Pranayama breathing techniques and guided meditation. Positive affirmation through meditation helps to heal their traumas.
Girls who have not completed their school education are trained in skills like tailoring, embroidery, cooking and other related skills.
Online computer courses
Girls who have completed schooling up to Std tenth are provided courses like Basic Computer skills. They also practise typing skills for half hour daily. Those who are interested are also helped to enrol in certificate courses in Fashion Designing and online Data science courses.
Mainstream school education
Formal educational support is provided by the organization and currently we have 10 school going girls. During the lockdown, they were provided facilities like mobile, computer, books and 24/7 Wi-Fi connection to attend their online classes within the shelter home. Female teachers have also been appointed to teach them for 2 hours daily to help them continue their studies. Students who are weak in reading and writing are given remedial coaching.
Whenever required, the girls are referred for medical treatment to the Panvel Sub District Hospital, Primary Health Care Centre or the MGM Hospital at Panvel.
To enhance their self- image and confidence and boost their emotional and mental health, the girls are given individual one hour counselling sessions once a month. Group counselling sessions are also conducted twice a month. In these sessions, through the medium of games, the girls are provided taught important lessons in building relationships, trusting each other, managing anger and other related topics.
In addition to the above courses, girls are also educated about Good Touch, Bad Touch, superstitions and facts about monthly periods, my Body and my rights, identifying poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, friendship, love and marriage, making career decisions, shouldering family responsibilities, child rights and different types of child abuse.
Swapnalaya Shelter Home,
102, first floor, National Galaxy, Opp Moraj Auto stop, Takka Road, Takka Gaon, Old Panvel, 410 206.
Contact No.: 022 27491314, 86523 89341.