Bhiwandi is located in the North-East of Mumbai, between Kalyan and Thane. It was once known as the Manchester of India because of the existence of a large powerloom industry. This meant a large number of migrant labour came to Bhiwandi in search for better paying jobs and a better life. This is where the large influx of sex workers came in; predominantly to entertain this large migrant population. Most of the people have migrated from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bangladesh and Nepal. This led to the rise of Hanuman Tekdi in Bhiwandi. Hanuman Tekdi is large red light area with over 1600 sex workers working here (latest estimate by FPA, India). This sudden increase in sex work was also the cause for increase in HIV and tuberculosis. The latest report by FPA suggests, Thane ranks the highest in malnutrition in Maharashtra, with Bhiwandi being the major area of concern.
Due to the lack of proper public transport facilities, high pollution and high density of population, there is negligible support available for the sex workers and even less for their children. Knowing the history of Bhiwandi makes it easy to understand the significance of starting a day care centre, and a wholesome support system here. The sheer numbers speak for themselves. Every child, every woman, and every family with their own story of traumatic circumstances and each of them with no avenue for support. Aashiyana Home plans on making a positive change in their lives.
Below is a google earth image of Bhiwandi.