Bhimavva Chalwadi, a former Devdasi who became a counsellor, is the saviour of countless adolescent girls. Chalwadi, a former sex worker who was gradually brought back into the social mainstream after being a victim of sexual exploitation, has been a ray of hope for many former sex workers.
Chalwadi has grafted as many as 280 former sex workers to a washing unit in Goa’s Sancoale at various points in time to assist them to return to society. Chilwadi is the assistant programme manager at Swift Wash Laundry, which has been in operation for 11 years.
Life as a Devdasi
“I’ve seen girls as young as 12 becoming Devadasis.” We must safeguard them by providing jobs for the females as well as a safe and healthy atmosphere. A lot of ex-pimps have joined the laundry service… It’s a place where abusers may be reformed and victims can be rehabilitated,” she explained.
She has worked as an art therapist for the past ten years, visiting the government’s state protective home and providing rehabilitation services to other girls who have been rescued from commercial sexual exploitation. She is also essential in ensuring the girls’ rescue, in addition to effectively bringing about a positive transformation in their lives at the protective home.
She has changed the lives of 5,000 at-risk children and women, saved 2,500 girls from being trafficked, and rehabilitated 1,400 rescued women as a champion of child safety.
She was honoured with the CII Woman Exemplar Award, 2019 for her contributions to the community. The former Devadasi, who was rescued from the red-light district of Baina at Vasco by NGO Arz and government officials, learned vital lessons from life.
It was a proud day for ARZ NGO because one of their colleagues had received an award. She is a truly exemplary and role model for victims of commercial sexual exploitation, who has made a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable and victim girls through her unwavering commitment and hard work discipline.