Prerana comes from the belief system that institutional placement is not the best way to rear children, and it should probably be the last resort to bring up children. However, in the face of a huge problem of ‘out-of-family’ children and children in need of care and protection seeking safe shelter and societal compassion falling too short and often apathetic, of rooting for a successful family-based foster care program; the only practical immediate option remains that of institutionalized care and protection services.
Given the brutalities a child is vulnerable to face while living in the red-light area, Prerana had to adopt the option of institutional placement to de-link the child from the red-light area and place her in a safe and healthy environment which is conducive to the growth and development of the child. Thus, Prerana started the process of supporting mothers in considering the option of shifting the child away from the red-light area to a place that can provide long-term residential care and development.
Although for several years, Prerana kept away from setting up its residential facility, Naunihal became a necessary intervention when conventional institutions were found unable to accommodate girl children from the red-light area, especially in distressed and dangerous circumstances. Thus, Naunihal was started to fulfill this need and aimed at socializing the intervention instead of monopolizing the same. Over a period of time, from being a Home exclusively for red light area-based children, Naunihal today caters to a broader category of girl victims of violence and abuse. Naunihal is a Children’s Home under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and falls under the jurisdiction of the Child Welfare Committee of Raigad district. This means that every child admitted to Naunihal is as per the orders of the concerned Child Welfare Committee, and so is the discharge from Naunihal.