Family Counselling


This initiative is the flagship program of Swadhar, both in Mumbai and Pune. Towards partial fulfillment of her doctoral studies in “Marriage & Divorce” and as a part of her field work, Meenakshitai contacted Mumbai City Civil Court seeking permission to meet people who were parties in divorce cases. Meanwhile a new idea of handling divorce cases for reconciliation or mutual settlement prior to being heard in court was introduced. This work was entrusted to TISS and Meenakshitai (then a professor at TISS) started attending and counseling cases at the City Civil Court. She continued this work for eight years; till in 1984 the Family Court Law was passed and Family Courts came into existence.

Counseling at City Civil Court was restricted to divorce cases only and yet there were increasing number of crimes against women in Goregaon (Mumbai) getting reported. This led to the creating a separate center. This is when Meenakshitai and Mrs. Mrinal Gore started Swadhar’s first family counseling center - the first of its kind in Mumbai. After twelve years of successful functioning in Mumbai, Meenakshitai started this family counseling center in Pune too along with Mrs. Sulabha Joshi and Mrs. Suchitra Date. Initial efforts put in by Meenakshitai emphasized the need of counseling activity before the divorce cases were heard in the court. The purpose of our Counseling center is to provide any required support to women in physical, emotional or social distress, and help them come out of it, empowered. The primary beneficiaries of this initiative are women from lower and lower-middle income groups. These women are mainly victims of physical violence and mental and emotional harassment /atrocities at the hands of their husbands and /or in-laws, or society in general. The resulting physical and emotional breakdowns, affect not only their own lives, but also the lives of their children.
Swadhar IDWC, therefore, provides such women with a place where they can share their troubles and traumas. They are then counseled in confidence to restore their stability and self-confidence. And this is followed by assistance and guidance to make them aware of their situation, and about alternatives they could choose to have a better life; a self-reliant life where they have self-respect and dignity. It is ensured that any required support - legal, financial, medical and emotional - is extended to anyone who approaches the organization for help after verifying the actual needs. Though the program was initiated for women from underprivileged sections of the society, help is now being extended to men and women from all social strata.

Case Studies

Aakash finds his silver lining

Aakash and his younger brother were born to HIV positive parents. He learnt of his own condition and his family’s

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I have been giving donation to ‘Akshaedeep’ project under “Swadhar’ for the last 5-6 years Vidyanand M.Ranade, Govt. of Maharashtra

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