Ashraya is a non-profit voluntary institution, functioning as a unit of Andhra Mahila Sabha in Chennai since 1986. The basic object of Aashraya is to after timely and constructive help to women in distress by providing them with total care, shelter and opportunity to equip themselves to earn their living with honour and dignity.


  1. Paper cover making

  2. Candle making

  3. Tailoring

  4. House maid training.


Ashraya offers shelter to both single and married women and women with children. Every effort is made to counsel them, make them self reliant and then reintegrate them into society.


  1. Fathima grew up in the Balamandir orphanage from the age of three months. On completion of Std. X her mother wanted her to start working, but she wanted to study further. She was referred to Aashraya. We helped her to take up Nurse aid training in the Andhra Mahila Sabha School of Nursing. She is now a resident nurse-aid in the Cancer Hospital, Adyar, Chennai.

  2. Twenty two year old Sailakshmi, a graduate married a man of her choice. However, subsequent friction in a joint family and the alcoholism of her husband made her seek admission in Aashraya. We found her a job as Warden in Voluntary Health Services, Chennai and enrolled her children in a boarding school.

  3. Tamil Arasi 35 years was educated upto 8th standard. She is the mother of 3 children and was admitted to Aashraya with complaints of domestic violence and a suicide attempt. Her husband threw her out suspecting her. Her parents refused any help. Aashraya helped her by giving counseling. She was then referred to a psychiatrist. She improved significantly and was able to work in a factory. Later her husband was called for counseling and with repeated sessions of the same both the husband and wife were reunited as a family

  4. Usha came to us from Neyveli. She was married to her cousin, who was an alcoholic and jobless. The frequent fights at home drove her to her parental home. However Usha realized that her parents could not support her permanently. She came to Aashraya and was sent to Red Cross Society to pursue Nurse aid course. She stood first and joined Andhra Mahila Sabha Hospital. Meanwhile, Aashraya got her a legal divorce. She is now graduate in Psychology, remarried and living happily.

  5. Navakotti joined Aashraya in 1986 with young children (2 girls and 2 boys). Aashraya helped her in admitting the children in schools and hostels. Navakotti was admitted in ANM Course which she finished successfully. Later she joined Vijaya Hospital, Chennai. She was discharged from Aashraya in 1988. In March’05 she came back to us with a problem of land dispute. Though she had the land patta the property dealer sold the land to another person who built a house there. Aashraya’s counselor approached the Chennai Police Commissioner who promised immediate action and as a pleasant surprise the culprits were nabbed within a week and the money due to her was returned to Navakottai.

The cases cited explain the role played by Aashraya. We take in women who are helpless and homeless, mould them and send them out as confident and empowered women, able to take charge of themselves and their lives. We hope to keep up our good work and improve upon it in the years to come.

Government of India, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Department of Women and Child Welfare has a scheme to aid “Short Stay Homes” for women and girls in distress. These homes are primarily meant for those women and girls who are exposed to moral danger or family discord and the resulting strain of relationship or emotional disturbances of social adjustment in the family and  society. The period of stay is limited to one year only. The Tamil Nadu Joint Action Committee for Women was keen to sanction this scheme for Durgabai Deshmukh Mahila Sabha, as it was reputedly working in the field of social service at national level. Durgabai Deshmukh Mahila Sabha got a grant of one lakh in 1985 from the Council, with which the Sabha started the Home on  Rosary Church road, Santhome.

Inmates were taught different crafts according to their interest and qualification, so that they could rehabilitate themselves after the maximum period of stay of one year permitted in the short stay home.


AMS Ashraya, No. 21/12, Rosary Church Rd, Chennai 600 004.