Human Trafficking and Prajwala - NGO India from LetsHelpIndia's blog



The philosophy of Prajwala evolved based on the need of women and children who are victims of trafficking. Prajwala emerged as an anti-trafficking organization, which believes in preventing women and children from entering prostitution, which is the worst form of sexual slavery.
Trafficking
Born in a poor family in Pileru, Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, instead of going to school Bhavani worked with her parents, who were landless laborers. Her family of eleven consisted of six sisters and three brothers. On the assurance of a maternal cousin, 12-year old Bhavani was married to Amar who worked in Delhi. “Even though I was young I felt very happy to get married as they gave my parents lot of money and took care of the marriage expenses. ” After the marriage, Bhavani and her husband accompanied by the cousin left for Delhi. On reaching New Delhi Railway Station, Amar asked Bhavani to stay with her cousin till he made arrangements for family accommodation. Her cousin’s house turned out to be a brothel on G B Road the red light area in New Delhi. Bhavani’s ordeal began the very next day when she was asked to cater to a customer. She then came to know that she had been sold for a sum of Rs.45,000/- (USD 900.00). Interacting with other girls she realized that her ‘husband’ had married ‘twelve times’ in that year alone. Her resistance to be initiated was met with a lot of beatings and starvation. After seven days of struggle Bhavani gave in. After five abortions and innumerable sexually transmitted infections, Bhavani today at the age of 17yrs is rescued and " HIV positive.”
Hundreds of thousands of young adults and children are traded for flesh trade in the guise of jobs, marriage, film roles, modeling and love. More often than not these traders of human misery are not strangers to the victims. Criminal conspiracy to exploit human vulnerability is at the core of human trafficking.Trafficking in women and children is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights - a form of modern day slavery where the victim is subjected to violence, violation of personal integrity and total humiliation, without any hope of succor. The victim of such devastating violence may also end up with life threatening HIV/AIDS or a lifetime of trauma and personality disintegration.
Trafficking is thus a violation of several human rights - among them, the very right to life, the right to liberty and security of person, the right to freedom from torture or cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to a home and family, the right to education and proper employment, the right to health care – everything that makes for a life with dignity.Today, sex trafficking in women and children is one of the fastest growing areas of national and international criminal activity. It has created a complex criminal network - at times, with the patronage of those in power. Lack of suitable laws and law enforcement machinery add to the problem.

GENESIS

One of the oldest red light areas of Hyderabad city was evacuated in the year 1996. Thousands of women in prostitution were suddenly uprooted and displaced, this forced them to look at their lives very closely and introspect about the insecure status of their children. The plea of the mothers for a dignified future for their children made Bro Jose Vetticatil and Dr Sunitha Krishnan two visionaries to come together and initiate an intervention(Prajwala) for PREVENTION THROUGH EDUCATION.

The enormity of the situation and the vastness of the task did not stop Prajwala from making a small initiative. At this point of time Prajwala responded and intervened to start a small education program in the form of a transition center with the participation of women in prostitution. The process of interaction with the women posed a threat to the traffickers, the middle-men, and the brokers, which led to a long challenge and struggle for the core team of Prajwala. The founders Dr.Sunitha Krishnan and Bro.Jose Vetticatil were faced with life threatening situations a number of times, which they braved through with the conviction that an alternative is possible.

The journey of Prajwala commenced with full conviction and faith in people’s participation in the process of change. Although women were concerned about the children, they were not ready for partnership. Prajwala initially had problems in convincing the mothers to become partners and participate to bring about a change in their lives. But eventually they saw the logic and got completely involved in supporting an intervention which will help their children integrate in the mainstream society.

As the journey progressed, Prajwala was faced with the challenge of responding to other related issues such as sex trafficking of children. Out of no choice it became imperative to find ways to intervene. As the needs expanded so also the evolution of other interventions such as rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration and community based prevention.


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