VITAL empowers and facilitates children living in Kolkata's red-light district of Rambagan to circumvent second-generation prostitution. The area is an extension of Asia's LARGEST red-light district (Sonagachi) and susceptible to child protection abuses. We work at grassroots level to raise awareness and provide education, healthcare, protection and counselling to children and parents. Since the project started, NO child has followed their parents' footsteps into second-generation prostitution!
Over 33% of child trafficking in India occurs in West Bengal alone, particularly in red-light areas, and over 30% of Kolkata's prostitutes are children- especially girls. Vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, their environments are further riddled with drugs, alcohol, child marriage and violence. Rambagan extends Asia's largest red light area, Sonagachi, and had minimal NGO involvement before VITAL. This project will impact over 800 children and adults in Rambagan and the surrounding areas.
VITAL supports safe zones and educational support for Rambagan's children during the evening to prevent them from being left on the streets, while their parents undertake sex-work. We also run a creche; recreational activities; counselling sessions; awareness programmes on child protection; and monthly, mutual support meetings with mothers, who receive advice on how to support their children. We work with the Police Force and key stakeholders, such as the Ward Level Child Protection Committee.
Since the project began, NO child has entered second-generation prostitution! The project will continue to expand its impact to over 500 children. Through education and sustainable, community-based initiatives, this specific cycle of poverty will break as the children will be inspired to obtain careers outside of sex-work. First-generation learners, including women, have graduated from University and entered sectors including Accounting, Business and Social Work! #BetterChildhoodsBrighterFutures
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