Covid pandemic has lead to large scale economic devastation impacting the lives of millions. The size of economically vulnerable has reached dramatic proportions in the last two years. The new group of poor are emotionally and economically gullible and have potentially higher risk of being spotted by unscruplous elements. With the penetration of technology the access of such elements in the lives of people has increased manifold. For instance, through instant 'loan apps' many gullible persons have been trapped in exploitative situations. All this has created a favourable ecosystem for human trafficking to flourish.
The last few months has seen a dramatic increase in the number of sex trafficked victims who have been spotted through technological means. Simultaneously with funding being diversified for Covid relief activities there has been drastic fall in the donations recieved to manage the therapeutic community. This combined with additional demands on funding such as setting up quarantine units for newly rescued victims and the care of Covid infected has created new challenges in the funding situation of the organisation.
The situation has still not streamlined with a increase in the number of victims admitted to the therapeutic community and flow of donations thinning down.
While efforts are being made to find suitable financial solutions, the activities in the therapeutic community continues to maintain high standards and the number of victims now in the process of becoming survivors consisitently improves. In the last quarter over 300 have been trained in Employability Skills and prepared for the job market. Through the placement program 60 survivors have been placed in viable economic alternatives and 10 of them have started their own self-employment units including setting retail vegetable shop, ready-made garment shop, fast-food corner etc.
Access for justice has improved with 4 survivors getting conviction in their cases and were awarded compensation for the damages they were subjected.
Survivor advocates have partcipated in a national conference and have presented a session on the needs of victims which was highly appreciated by all particpating stakeholders.
Covid infection from the first wave to the third wave has changed its form. The first wave was about fear and isolation, the second wave was deadlier and costed many lives and the third wave or the omnicorm wave was relatively milder and required minimal hospitalisation.
All this is handled by individual families in a certain way but when it comes to a 'safe home' or a threapeutic community where the basic family size is humangous any contagious disease has the ability to retard this functioning of the institution.
This reporting period, Covid chose to enter the therapeutic community starting with the children's section and then engulfing the entire campus. It was two months of struggle with severe staff crunch and logistic nightmare. Having a hospice with 24x7 residential medical staff helped with most children and adults isolated within the campus. While only one adult victim required hospitalisation it was a logistic nightmare as her safety in the external hospital had to be ensured. It was another coincidence that a staff also required hospitalisation at the same time which paved the way for both of them being provided hospital care which was critical at that time.
The vaccination of all staff and adult victims prevented aggravtion of any symptoms, yet the unvaccinated children were a cause to worry. Strict covid protocols were maintained restricting any external movement towards the therapeutic community. In two months time the situation stabilised and now the therapeutic communitic is coma back to its normal functioning.
After a gap of 8 months we are back with our favourite platform GlobalGiving to seek support for the sustainence of our therapeutic community for 600 victims.
In the midst of pandemic, lockdowns and unprecedent economic devastation when billions across the world faced abject impoverishment predators all over found a potential opportunity both online and offline to easily prey on young girls and women and force them into situations of commercial sexual exploitation.
While millions of front liners battled Covid, a small group of civil social organization such as Prajwala, battled the mafia to save girls sold into prostitution. At the peak of lockdown, Prajwala saved over 380 girls sold into prostitution. This is in addition to the 25,500 already saved, supported and reintegrated.
Faced with multiple challenges including ensuring sustenance of four safe homes with over 600 residents and at the same time extending emergency Covid relief to the thousands of survivors who had lost their jobs and were now on the verge of being re-trafficked created huge financial needs and has taken a toll on the organization.
In the last 18 months, the organization has slowly depleted its corpus and is now facing financial challenges to sustain the mission.
For those of you who have not heard of Prajwala, India please check their website www.prajwalaindia.com to know more about the exemplary work done for more than a quarter of the century.
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