Recognizing the need to protect women from exploitation and to support their survival and rehabilitation, the scheme of a Short Stay Home for women and girls was introduced as a social defense mechanism, by the Department of Social Welfare in 1969. The scheme is meant to provide temporary accomodation, maintenance and rehabilitation services to women and girls made homeless by famliy conflicts, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism or who are being forced into prostitution.
Swadhar_A scheme for Women in difficult circumstances was launched by the Department of Women and Child Development in 2001-02. The scheme aims to rehabilitate such women in difficult circumstances through the provisions of shelter, food, clothing, trainings, clinical and legal aid.
The project of the Swadhar home ( Guntur) belongs to the Society of Jesus Mary Joseph. This is an international religious congregation with a rich experience in establishing and managing similar development programmes for the poor and also has prior experience of working with people at a grass roots level, in favour of the development of different sections of the population.
The beneficiaries of the scheme (around 120 women and girls) are deserted women without familiy support; widows who have survived a natural disaster but have been rendered homeless and are without any social and economic support; women affected by HIV/AIDS; women prisoners released from jail who have no family, social or economic support; women victims of domestic violence, family tension or discord, who are obliged to leave home without any means of subsistence and have no special protection from exploitation and/or face litigation on account of marital disputes; and trafficked women/girls rescued or escaped from brothels or other places where they face exploitation
The Friendly hand has contributed to a significant reduction in the water-borne and water-related diseases which before resulted in frequent hospitalisation especially among girls and women of the Swadhar home. These women are more vulnerable to such diseases since the water source has an excessive fluoride content. The provision of a water treatment plant and the safe storage of water are a key component of their health and develpment.