In response to the urgent request (below) from Dr. Sunitha Krishnan- Founder of Prajwala and ASSET India Foundation partner, we have committed $25,000 toward the construction of shelters for survivors of sex trafficking. ASSET India English and computer programs will be implemented in these shelters. ASSET has also started two crowdfunding initiatives through Crowdera and Milaap.org platforms.
Dear FriendsWe are back to square 1 and this is like a repetition of 2009. In the last few months attacks on Prajwala has increased multi-fold. There have been four physical attacks where 16 of our girls, 4 of our staff have been grievously injured.My vehicle was next on the list, it was vandalized on 6th Feb 2015 and I am right now flooded with sexually explicit abusive emails.All this and more I am taking it as an indicator of success but some other rippling effect is bothersome, one of them being our economic enterprise is now facing eviction. The landlord has given time till September to shift.So it is big decision time. We have decided now to shift. We are looking at 2 acres of land in the city outskirts, which will accommodate the following:1. Economic Rehabilitation Unit(A unit for 100 girls to learn a trade and also work)2. Emergency Shelter(A home for 50 girls)3. Prajwala Base Camp for Community Based Prevention Program, Rescue & Restoration Program, Rape Victim's Support Program, Anti Trafficking Resource Cell & Prevention Through Education ProgramI have decided to use the corpus that we have raised in the last 5years to buy the land which is coming to around 2 crores( a little less than half million dollars), but I will require another half a million dollars to construct these three places. As of now I am in the last stages of finalizing the land.
So requesting all your emergency support to mobilize this amount. Like to request Anna & Kristen to provide any write-ups required for anybody. I have copied all of you in this mail so that you can be in touch with each other. Unfortunately I am in a unique situation seriously challenged in terms of writing etc, as the Annual Report has to be prepared and I am just drowning with external evaluations and writing the annual report.
Rest assured none of this has effected our regular work, rescues continue, missing children are tracked, rehabilitation work is at its peak with 50 girls now being trained as Security Guards.
The mission will continue no matter what and I know this too shall pass, but require your strength & support in this hour of challenge.
Dr. Sunitha Krishnan
1. ASSET Idia's parnership with Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi's organization BBA-Save the Children began last year with the rescue, rehabilitation and rescue of 200 girls trafficked from the tea estates in Assam.
2. The trafficked girls are lured by brokers with the promise of well paying jobs in Delhi and other cities.
3. The girls are then sold as domestic help by the brokers for a huge fee and many girls subsequently end up in brothels.
4.BBA has been intrumental in getting the courts to issue injunctions against these brokers.
The problem of sex trafficking is rampant in India today and the problems to be addressed are numerous. In this partnership, ASSET India Foundation and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) will address the problem by a holistic and sustainable approach.
Prevention and Community Participation: This will be a two fold program involving Child Friendly Villages (CFVs) and campaigning against the evils of sex trafficking through Mukti Caravan. 20 CFVs will be set up in the state of Assam and Mukti Caravan will be run in around 400 villages over two years. The campaigning will take place in key areas of Assam (Source Area), Alwar (Source Area), Silligudi (Transit Route) and New Delhi (Destination Point).
Protection and Prosecution: The raid and rescue of girls working in sex work will take place in three key areas of Assam, Silligudi and New Delhi. During this partnership, 50 girls/year will be rescued. Additionally, 100 girls/year will be provided with legal aid.
Policy and Partnership: This partnership will help influence the gaps in policy regarding sex work in India through better understanding of the needs in the sector as the levels of intervention take place.
Research: The research that will take place will look at three aspects- Dimensions of Sex Trafficking in India- This will take New Delhi to be a test case in India and look at the process of trafficking and the economics that relate to it. Status of Sex Trafficking- Through Right to Information reports and other secondary resources, the status of sex trafficking will be recorded.
Analysis of factors affecting trafficking of girls and women from vulnerable districts of Assam- Fieldwork based assessment of factors influencing the process of trafficking of vulnerable girls and women.
Kailash Satyarthi, Founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize which will be awarded to him in a ceremony in Stockholm later this month.
BBA and ASSET India Foundation are actively engaged in the rescue, rehabilitation and care of 200 girls trafficked from the tea estates in Assam in north east India.
Chicag based New Generation Power, (www.newgenerationpower.com) has agreed help ASSET in providing solar lighting to villages and schools where children of sex workers and girls vulnerable to sex trafficking live. Solar lighting will help these girls study in the evenings and encourage them to stay in school.
Efforts are underway to provide additional marketable skills to 20 girls on a pilot project in Kolkata in partnership with the Skills Training Institute.
In order to preven the trafficking of minor girls from the tea estates in north eastern India, ASSET partner Save the Children has been active in supporting the Govt. of India 's proposed a new and much upgraded Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014 in India and has already introduced the same in Parliament. All our suggestions in the same have also been accepted.
The Bill would be a major step in the fight against trafficking as it outlaws and prohibits various kinds of trafficking and exploitative situations for which children are being trafficked. These include provisions on :
1. Child marriage - by including a child vulnerable to being married as a child in need of care and protection.
2. Detailing adoption processes and prohibiting illegal adoptions with strict penalties.
3. Prohibiting the operation of Children's homes running without mandatory Govt. registration and licences. As you might be aware, child trafficking for illegal homes (from where children are sent or put in various kinds of exploitative situations) is a big issue currently in India.
4. Increasing punishment for employing a child bonded labourer and making it a non bailable offence.
5. Including a specific provision prohibiting the use of children in armed conflict or organised gangs. 6. Prohibiting the use of any child in vending or peddling or liquor or any other narcotic substance.
When passed (possibly in Dec., 2014), this Bill is expected to fill in the existing gaps in the policy domain and give a lot of impetus to the fight against trafficking in India.
Attched documents provide good news about progress with ethe education of children of ex Devadasis.
ASSET India foundation, in partnership with Bachpan Bachao Andolan-BBA(Save the Childhood Movement) an organization founded by world renowned human rights activist Kailash Satyarthi has embarked on a fundraising challenge to rescue girls from the Assam tea plantations who have been sold by traffickers. Our goal is to help rescue at least 100 of the 127 girls whose parents have filed complaints with the Gauhati high court.Video Link:http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2014/mar/01/tetley-tea-maids-real-price-cup-tea-video
Shekhar Rahate, award winning fashion designer for events including the Presidential Inauguration, The Oscars and Emmys has agreed to donate his designs for fundraising events.
Ray UmashankarExecutive DirectorASSET India Foundationww.assetindiafoundation.orgTucson, Arizona520-869-2004
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