Over 5000,000 women and children have been rescued from the quagmire of sexual assault, and this duo of two friends is a hit.

1990 In the 1970s, two journalists went on assignment for a local daily to report on the plight of horse cart drivers in Mysore. Here, both of them collided with a drunken sex worker. And what, the sex worker hurled obscenities at both of them. Along with this, Stanley Varghese and ML Parasuraman, who sympathized with the plight of women, decided to work for them and the marginalized children of the society. Odanadi even quit his job for this and started an NGO. This Stanley-Parshu pairing is a hit. Many think it is the same man. After all, why don’t people have this delusion? After all, the name has been together for three decades.

The women were rescued from the clutches of smugglers
Today Odanadi provides accommodation and educational assistance to orphaned boys and girls. These range from primary school students to young adults studying master’s courses. The NGO today has offices in the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Canada and the US. In Karnataka, Odanadi is known for her grassroots work and helping women and girls who are victims of sexual violence. Through its strong network, the NGO has helped rescue at least 13,000 women from the clutches of traffickers. It was also instrumental in securing 1 percent reservation in educational institutions for the children of sex workers and rape victims.

Stanley and Parashuram with the team.

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Rehabilitation of more than 3000 women
After nearly three decades, Stanley and Parasuram’s NGO Odanadi travels to different parts of Karnataka. They work for women and children who are suffering. They have so far rescued 5000 women and children from the mire of sexual violence. All of them were forced to work as sex workers in Mysore and elsewhere. Parasuram says that we have rehabilitated around 3000 women and children. “Happily, many families have come forward who have married off their boys to the girls living with us,” he said. We have done about 100 such weddings now.

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Work with the police
Odanadi has two separate buildings. One for girls and one for boys. The NGO has a staff of 24 people. It also includes three professional counsellors. The NGO spends three lakh rupees per month for the protection of women, girls and children living here. The NGO has been at the forefront of helping women and children who have been sexually assaulted, helping the police in reporting locations and assisting in raids.

NGO volunteers during an activity at the NGO’s rehabilitation centre.

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Legal aid for victims of sexual assault
The NGO reaches out to such women and children to provide legal aid, help them live, learn and promote their skills. With this, they have no problem joining the mainstream. According to Stanley, the NGO works on the 3Rs. They rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate. Odanadi in Kannada means a companion who accepts a person unconditionally and walks with that person like a shadow. Stanley and Parasuram first started by caring for the children of sex workers. Then the women were helped to live in a rented house. Activist and theater director Prasad Kundur, who has known both of them for four decades, says that both of them will have to face danger from all sides. These include threats from the police, anti-social elements and the underworld. Such people risk their lives to fight for the victims of sexual violence.

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Filed a complaint with the Income Tax Department
Both of them had complained to the Income Tax Department several times. It was said that these people are earning money in the name of social service. It was investigated and the paucity of funds surprised the investigators. The officer asked us to apply for the place. Parashuram said that the two have built a rehabilitation center with the help of donors. In this, the needs of the children brought to the NGO were met. Kundur says the situation has changed now. Now Odanadi has support in society. Now this NGO is recognized everywhere in the state.

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Help for the victims of the Murugamath case
Recently, two girls from Chitradurga’s Muruka Math came to Bengaluru when an auto-rickshaw driver asked them to go to Odanadi after sexually assaulting Sage Shivamurthy Swamy. Stanley and Parashuram brought the girls to their place. They are being counseled and provided with all legal assistance. When the Times of India team arrived at the NGO’s rehabilitation center in Mysuru, Parasuram was preparing to write to the Mysuru police regarding the safety of his staff in the Murukamath case. Stanley, 54, says fighting for the voiceless and children is dangerous. He says that after decades of struggle, he is now used to it.

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Stanley and Parasuram have been together since college
Stanley and Parashuram first met at a social organization event in Mysore. After graduating from Kotak, Stanley came to Mysuru to study law. Parasuram did his Masters in Economics from University of Mysore. At that time Stanley often used to camp in Parasurama’s rented room. Parasuram says that our focus is on the behavioral problems of the children who are now staying at the NGO. Along with this their education should also be encouraged. This helps in their rehabilitation. Parashuram’s mother says her son gave up his dream of becoming a lecturer to help destitute women and children.

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