Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse

by Suprava Panchashila Mahila Uddyog Samity
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Shelter for Women Escaping Trafficking & Abuse
Getting a Legal Support
Getting a Legal Support

Parul came in touch with MissingLink when her poor parents were no longer able to take care of her along with her two young children (5 and 6years old) and asked her to return to her abusive husband. Her ordeals however started about 8 years back when she was married off as a 17yrs old teenager. Her husband, a casual labor in the construction industry was not happy with the marriage the parents arranged. He therefore always found faults in Parul and found every excuse to physically abuse her.  After a few years of going through this and two children later, Parul got to know that her husband remarried and didn’t have any plan to return or financially support them. Her in-laws blamed Parul for "losing their son ". It is after all a woman's job to keep her husband interested in the family. The in-laws did not stop at physically abusing Parul and her sons; they also started making them go hungry. Parul had no choice but to return to her father’s house. She has no education and no skill to fend for herself. The best she could do was to start rolling bidi or making local cigarettes. It is a common work that many women of poor families do from their home to make some extra cash. However, it was the only source of income for Parul. The market rate of this work is Rs.80 or $1.16 for rolling a thousand cigarettes.  Parul’s income from bidi making was definitely not sufficient to feed all three mouths. Moreover, Parul’s aged and poor parents wanted her to accept the abusive life at her in-laws due to the social pressure. When MissingLink’s rural outreach worker got to know about Parul she suggested that Parul should come to the shelter for further support. Parul visited the shelter and received legal casework support. The team also met with the parents and tried to resolve the living situation. Her case was taken to the Family Court. The Court ordered that Parul’s husband must pay for alimony and child care support. Parul in the meantime met other survivors while staying in the shelter. She is now part of the Survivors Network and comes for regular skill building training programs. Parul also keeps a watch on other cases of domestic violence and possible trafficking in her immediate area. With every successful case, MissingLink’s strength through network of empowered women in the community increases. This acts as positive catalyst in prevention of trafficking, child marriage, and domestic violence against women. 

Parul’s case was amongst 14 other cases that MissingLink directly supported in the last quarter. Our outreach team reached out to hundreds of young women in the community and provided counselling support and information to deal with their respective domestic abuse situations. We continue to deliver individual casework support with your help. MissingLink is formed with the faith that common people will lend a hand to help those in need. They will support those who hardly have any other opportunity to come out of systemic societal abuse. We are changing these lives together. When one Parul lives without fear of getting abused and send her children to school, we as a community make one step forward towards a better future for all. Let’s keep up the momentum and this #BonusDay on JULY 18 Let's double our impact! keep on supporting each other! Let us make a better tomorrow! 

 

*Name and Photos are changed to protect identity of survivors. 

Survivors Network Meet
Survivors Network Meet
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A Survivor Receiving Legal Support
A Survivor Receiving Legal Support

Parul came in touch with MissingLink when her poor parents were no longer able to take care of her along with her two young children (5 and 6years old) and asked her to return to her abusive husband. Her ordeals however started about 8 years back when she was married off as a 17yrs old teenager. Her husband, a casual labor in the construction industry was not happy with the marriage the parents arranged. He therefore always found faults in Parul and found every excuse to physically abuse her.  After a few years of going through this and two children later, Parul got to know that her husband remarried and didn’t have any plan to return (was he in any other state?) or financially support them. Her in-laws blamed Parul for "losing their son " . It is after all a woman's job to keep her husband interested in the family. The in-laws did not stop at physically abusing Parul and her sons; they also started making them go hungry. Parul had no choice but to return to her father’s house. She has no education and no skill to fend for herself. The best she could do was to start rolling bidi or making local cigarettes. It is a common work that many women of poor families do from their home to make some extra cash. However, it was the only source of income for Parul. The market rate of this work is Rs.80 or $1.16 for rolling a thousand cigarettes.  Parul’s income from bidi making was definitely not sufficient to feed all three mouths. Moreover, Parul’s aged and poor parents wanted her to accept the abusive life at her in-laws due to the social pressure. When MissingLink’s rural outreach worker got to know about Parul she suggested that Parul should come to the shelter for further support. Parul visited the shelter and received legal casework support. The team also met with the parents and tried to resolve the living situation. Her case was taken to the Family Court. The Court ordered that Parul’s husband must pay for alimony and child care support. Parul in the meantime met other survivors while staying in the shelter. She is now part of the Survivors Network and come for regular skill building training programs. Parul also keeps a watch on other cases of domestic violence and possible trafficking in her immediate area. With every successful case, MissingLink’s strength through network of empowered women in the community increases. This acts as positive catalyst in prevention of trafficking, child marriage, and domestic violence against women. 

Parul’s case was amongst 14 other cases that MissingLink directly provided support to in the last quarter. Our outreach team reached out to hundreds of young women in the community and provided counselling support and information to deal with their respective domestic abuse situations. We continue to deliver individual casework support with your help. MissingLink is formed with the faith that common people will lend a hand to help those in need. They will support those who hardly have any other opportunity to come out of systemic societal abuse. We are changing these lives together. When one Parul lives without fear of getting abused and send her children to school, we as a community make one step forward towards a better future for all. Let’s keep up the momentum and this #BonusDay on JULY 18 Let's double our impact! keep on supporting each other! Let us make a better tomorrow! 

 



*Name and photos are changed to protect identity

Survivors Receiving Lifeskill Trainings
Survivors Receiving Lifeskill Trainings
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At the Shelter
At the Shelter


Minati’s* case reached MissingLink team from the government hospital when she gave birth to her baby boy in February 2019. Like every other case that reaches the doorstep of the shelter her plight was no less. The biggest of all was giving birth out of wedlock. Her orthodox native village didn’t allow her to live at her mom’s with her newborn as they outcasted Minati and felt she would be bad influence to other young girls in the village. Minati’s mother lives in constant fear for her life and her frail mud house that was her only shelter in life. MissingLink is equipped to serve up to five women at a time in the shelter and unfortunately it was full when Minati’s case came in. Looking at the severity of the case and life-threatening situation we channelized extra fund towards adding a new bed for Minati and her new born in the shelter. New born in the shelter is always a dilemma and we felt torn at the situation. Currently MissingLink is taking care of Minati’s postnatal nutritional necessities and the infant is receiving care through the government hospital.

Her story began few years ago when a trusted neighbor promised her a better paying job in the city. She was in her early 20s. Minati’s father passed away long back. The poor mother had no choice than letting Minati go with the hope that Minati’s earning would provide a better future for all of them. They hardly imagined what waited for them in the future- they just thought about saving the roof over their head and food to survive. Once she reached the city she started working as a labor in construction site where she was also sexually exploited by the men. After two years of painful living condition she could get a small sigh of relief or so it seemed. She met Sanju, an acquaintance from her village. She fell for Sanju and somehow managed to escape the construction work. She got job as maid in the city households. Sanju promised to marry her although he was already married and was father of a child. His family lived in the village.   Mianti was unaware of it. As these happened after she left the village. Sanju and Minati started staying together until Minati got pregnant. Later Sanju denied marrying Minati and taking responsibility of the child.

Minati is under tremendous stress and trauma and not ready to file a case against Sanju yet. We are providing her counseling. We respect her decision and our main focus is to provide her a safe and peaceful environment and building support around her.  She said she would like to learn a skill to earn living for herself. MissingLink team is currently working with her on her future goals and supporting her journey towards independent empowered life.

Other than handling Minati’s case the shelter was full during the period with other five cases. It is humbling to see how important the service is. All residents are receiving their respective case support, nutritional meals and shelter. The support team made several home visits to the homes of other potential victims of domestic abuse and trafficking. Legal team helped 12 other cases of domestic violence, 13 women received vocational training through our network, 15 beneficiaries of the project formed a support group to help new cases and six children from the homes of domestic violence were restored for shelter home and cottage home for schooling, counseling and trauma management under the legal guidance of Child Welfare Committee.

Unfortunately the need is greater than what the team can provide at this moment. Hence, your support is more important now than ever before. Help us to spread the word on MissingLink so that we can reach out to more Minatis. Support us find more MissingLinks like you who would be happy to lend their hands for more Minatis.

 

*Name changed to maintain confidentiality

*Photo is just the representation of the cases we receive and not of the same victim/beneficiary mentioned in the report. Used with permission.

Sewing Class at the shelter
Sewing Class at the shelter
A meeting with women from villages
A meeting with women from villages
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Children preparing for admission test
Children preparing for admission test

Wish you all very Happy New Year from Team MissingLink.

Together we have come a long way. The last quarter of 2018 was particularly significant for the team MissingLink. With your support the team helped children of our residents to prepare for an admission test for a fully government funded English-medium boarding school for marginalized children. Nine children whose mother’s received support from MissingLink shelter got selected for the program. This success proves when we sign up to be MissingLink, we not only shelter the young women facing violence we indeed make a difference in their future lives.

While the team was busy with the admission test preparation for the children, Neeru* was identified by one of the SPMUS trained volunteers working in her village, and was referred to MissingLink shelter for further assistance. She was living with her mother with her two children - a son and a daughter. Neeru got married to Rajan*, a man twice her age because he provided misguiding information to Neeru’s poor widowed mother who was single handedly raising her six children including a mentally challenged son. Eventually Raja’s children started showing up from his multiple previous marriages and so did start his violent behavior. His inhuman behavior towards Neeru had put her through years of physical, emotional and mental torture until the day he threw their young daughter in rage. Neeru took shelter at her mother’s place but she knew it was only temporary.

As soon as Neeru came to MissingLink, she was taken for a medical check up and she was diagnosed with STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). Team MissingLink made sure she received regular treatment until she recovered fully. Years of abuse took a toll on the young girl and she was given casework support. MissingLink provided her legal guidance and helped her to file case against her husband. She received a favorable court order to stay at her maternal home along with her children. MissingLink provided tuition support to cope with their lost school time. Both the children are back in primary/elementary school now. MissingLink team linked Neeru with a local livelihood training support providing organization where she is learning tailoring. We make regular home visit to Neeru’s family to assess the progress.

The team worked with ten other cases that came to the shelter in the last quarter. We are extremely lucky to have dedicated field staff and volunteers who go through myriad practical challenges in order to provide the timely services to the young women and their children to survive and build a life free of violence.


How can you help us more?

Share our inspiring stories with your friends, family and acquaintances; make them realize how a simple engagement can go a long way when we come together for a purpose. Help us to raise fund by getting together this year with your favorite people and we will send you the recipes from Murshidabad. Plan your monthly giving in the beginning of the year through GlobalGiving and contact us if you have other ideas that you think will help us make MissingLink community stronger! 

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Kitchen Garden
Kitchen Garden

MissingLink began its journey with the idea and intention to meet the gaps of development planning. It envisioned a healthy environment for women to grow and work towards violence free future.

In West Bengal, one in every two children is still anemic, as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report in 2016. It also states, “Mothers do not fare any better than children in this regard either, as more than 60% of all women and 53.2% of pregnant women were found anemic in the state”. Needless to mention women from poverty-stricken districts like Murshidabad are affected by the outcomes of malnutrition for generations in their families. Hence, the team worked very hard and prepared the shelter premise to grow nutritious vegetables and greens in the last year. It started with fencing the area to protect it from grazing goats and bovines. It took many months of mulching before the first seeds were sowed. Our residents and team members made sure to nurture the growing vegetable garden until it started providing garden fresh greens to the residents in their meals. Thanks to IBA Molecular for their partnership for supporting MissingLink to work on the garden project and taking care of nutrition for the young women and their children residing in the shelter.

In the mean time MissingLink team kept on providing their services to the victims of domestic violence and reached out to 29 more cases through the shelter services like health check up, legal support, counseling and livelihood training programs. Other than working with the victims and volunteers in the villages, the team also reached out to the local law college to sensitize law students on the rights of the survivors. We believe it is very important to engage with the next generation of service providers while they acquire their academic knowledge.

If you are still not our Facebook Page please LIKE the page for more regular update and help us to grow our community of MissingLinks. Join us to spread the word among your friends in Delhi, India to participate in the ‘Change is Delisious’ event to enjoy the local delicacies of Murshidabad and help us to reach more young women in need. Let us know if you are interested to host similar event in your city at your home to enjoy the histories of Murshidabad and support the young women in their jounrey towards promosing and empowered future. 

Kitchen Garden
Kitchen Garden
Garden Fresh Greens
Garden Fresh Greens
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Organization Information

Suprava Panchashila Mahila Uddyog Samity

Location: Berhampore, West Bengal - India
Website:
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Suprava Panchashila Mahila Uddyog Samity
Soma Bhowmick
Project Leader:
Soma Bhowmick
Founder and CEO
Berhampore, West Bengal India

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