Urja has reached out to 354 young homeless women since its inception. Our belief in the ultimate empowerment of young women has allowed us to encourage many lives. As they arrive, most of these women are battered and broken. Urja traces their journey from cocooned individuals to confident and independent women through counselling, health care, education and a wide array of other transformational programmes.


Stories Of Change


Maya was taken away from her home to be sold in a metropolitan city at the tender age of 4 years. Had there not been a raid, her fate would have been like those of many trafficked girls. She was rescued and sent to a children’s shelter.

Maya's changed many shelters throughout her young life, but gained multiple skills and traits through training and workshops in all the shelters. Although not an easy childhood, she still had a roof over her head but once she was 18, she had outgrown the shelters’ age limit and was on the streets.



Some years back, Vaishali (name changed) was a dreamy-eyed teenager pursuing a diploma in fashion design. Her ambitions came to an abrupt halt when her elder sister eloped and her parents became very anxious that history would repeat itself. Under great familial pressure, Vaishali was married off this year but she found herself very unhappy in a household which forbade and restricted her from pursuing her studies.



By the time she was 24, Devi had lived more than most do in an entire lifetime. Born in a Brahmin upper-class family in a small village in Uttar Pradesh, fair and beautiful, 16-year-old Devi fell in love with a young 19-year-old Hindu boy from a lower caste who visited her home for odd jobs regularly. She eloped with him and landed up in Surat.

Her family – her father was the pujari of the village – chose to take revenge from the boy's family. They had them beaten mercilessly and the boy's sister was molested. Faced with daily threats and persecution, the boy's elder brother tracked down the couple and persuaded them to come home.



Ameena, was married for 17 years to a man who was abusive, absent from home and had multiple affairs. She had two children with him. After a lot of humiliation and gross violation of her dignity, she decided to leave her house. She came to Urja at this time, stayed for one year and her growth has been phenomenal ever since.


Mukta Sathe

“Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines….. or other new beginnings”
-Amby Burfoot

A story of a runner who was only 12 years old when she lost her mother to a life threatening illness. She started selling garlands on the streets because of their economic conditions and alcoholic father who never worked.


Testimonials of Young Women