Campaign Ended! The campaign ended on April, 17 2017
Charity Women Empowerment
To help women who are at risk of being trafficked & in sexual exploitation and perpetrators of human trafficking.
A 14-year-old girl in India should normally be in studying in class 9, playing with her friends and enjoying her childhood. That is not how my story begins. My name is Shruthi. Born to poor parents in the district of North 24 Parganas in West Bengal I couldn't do much schooling. Helping in the household chores, looking after my younger siblings and being cursed for being born a girl were part of how my story unfolds. I was very pretty looking and would often get noticed by young boys and men.
I was forced to marry at the age of 14, loosing my innocence and childhood. Soon, as a 14-year-old I was pregnant. It was not long before little Mala was born and my sorrow turned to great joy but it was short lived. When Mala was 5 months old my husband left me for another woman. I had no choice but to go back to my parents. A married girl staying with her parents often makes society question making it difficult to stay there long.
Soon my story only got bad to worse. A neighbour promised to provide me a job and earn at least Rs. 4000 per month in Mumbai. He instilled some hope in my otherwise dreary life. He brought me all the way to Mumbai and it seemed like a dream come true. Leaving little Mala with my parents for care I followed this man. Like every other story of women in this area, I was cheated and lied to, abused, went through hell and made to feel like trash. Somehow I got back home but couldn’t stay there long. I decided to get back to survive in the Red Light Area, the only way I was forced to.
It’s over eight years since I've come back. Last year I finally decided to bring my daughter to stay with me due to issues at home. My daughter is about eight now and growing up to be a beautiful young girl. I'm sometimes afraid that she shouldn't end up like me. Mala is a girl with a warm and shy smile full of innocence and liveliness. Though where I work is a place that is filled with darkness and things I would never want my little Mala to see or face. Unfortunately, her life didn't have much light as I’m forced to keep her here.
I’m not always able to send/keep Mala in school. First seven months since she came from the village she didn't go to school. Purnata, the NGO that works in our area, kept encouraging me to put her in school. They often offer to pay for her needs if needed. However, the man I live with and call my husband is sometimes here and sometimes stays elsewhere. He doesn't share in caring for Mala. After much encouragement from Purnata staff we put her in an English medium school. I could not pay all the fees due to all my loans and so she did not get her uniform. I was too shy to let Purnata staff or the Principal know. This means often she would be made fun of by the other children and other times the teachers would scold her for not wearing her uniform. Slowly she dropped out of school unable to bear the taunts.
The staff of Purnata have come forward and helped me put Mala back in school by paying the dues in school. They kept encouraging me, raised all the money needed to pay the dues, came with us to meet the Principal and ensured everything went smoothly. Today she goes to school in her uniform with a bright face and great joy. Mala goes to the Purnata Day Care Center where the staff are preparing her to catch up with what she lost all these months and years. She has a second chance at getting an opportunity into a brighter tomorrow and have her childhood restored. Everyday I live watching her joy & laughter and realise I can do anything to give her a life and future.
I'm looking forward to move on from this wretched life, be trained and placed in a job so I can look after my daughter and give her a life she deserves.
A friend reading Mala's story gave generously to put Mala back to school. Like her, you can help us make dreams and desires of many stories like Mala and Shruthi come true.
When children need care and protection we place them in safer homes or in foster care. We also give those still in the area a safe haven within the Red-Light Area, a second home for them. When women are fed up of living a life without dignity and look forward with hope, we provide them a safe house, food and medical care with lots of love and TLC. We provide necessary training and skills too to prepare them for a life of dignity and instil hope in them to become the brave hearts they were meant to be. This donation will help us scale up what we can do in terms of numbers and quality in the days to come.
We still have 11 lakhs to go. Every share and every donation matters. We look forward to reaching this target because it will make a difference in the lives of so many women and children. If all of us share the post to 10 of our key contacts we can reach this sooner than the target date!
We are overwhelmed by such a response. Thank you again for all your support, it's incredible having you as our partner in ending human trafficking. We feel motivated to keep fighting this fight as long as we need to, and we believe you'll be here with us.
Human Trafficking (HT) is the second largest illegal trade in the world, and the fastest growing crime. While it is a most heinous crime, it is also a multi-billion dollar business. The stories about the victims are too gory, the emotions too painful and the violence inhuman.
Purnata works holistically & collaboratively using research and innovation to End Human Trafficking by ensuring wholeness for all, from the inside out. They primarily target Children (largely girls), women at risk of being trafficked & in sexual exploitation and perpetrators of human trafficking.
What is Purnata doing about the problem?
1. Research to identify source areas of trafficking.
2. Prevention through General Awareness, Targeted Awareness and formation of ACT groups
3. Outreach in vulnerable communities like Red Light Areas through our Day Care Center for children.Currently we serve little over 30 women and over 30 children.
4. Rehabilitation Home for survivors of trafficking.Currently we have set up a two bedroomed house for four girls in the suburbs but plan to get an independent house closer in the city by next year to house about 15-20 girls who are survivors of trafficking.
5. Reintegration. The reintegration of trafficking victims often is a difficult,complex, and long-term process. It is different for each victim, and it involves not only the victim but also the environment and culture within which the reintegration is to take place. We walk the whole journey with them and remain their family.
Education. Provide a range of educational opportunities, including formal and non-formal education, life skills, and vocational training.
Economic Opportunities. To avoid re-trafficking, survivors need the skills to earn an adequate income. Skills training programs are provided to match the needs of the local job market.
Psycho-Social Support. Survivors of trafficking commonly severe physical and psychological trauma as a result of the violence, rape, threats, addiction, and other means traffickers use to control their victims. Psycho-social support and counseling can help victims of trafficking free themselves from the anxiety and depression and start having a positive image of themselves and rebuilding their self confidence.
What will this money be used for?
1. To reach out to women and children vulnerable to trafficking and in situations of commercial sexual exploitation, offering them the possibility of a different life filled with dignity and purpose.
2. To provide safe housing for survivors of trafficking who choose to leave their slavery for a future with hope and transformation.
3. To provide education, life skills, job training and placement for survivors of trafficking into viable and sustainable jobs/businesses.
4. To bring greater awareness on the issue of human trafficking.
How will the money be used?