Just read some of the news/headlines from International newspapers from this year
Between 400 and 750 people are believed to have been on board the boat that capsized in the Ionian Sea some 47 nautical miles (87km) off Pylos of which just 104 people have been rescued to date and 78 bodies retrieved.
US trafficking report highlights cybers scams, exploited boys.
Traffickers switch to Myanmar after China erects border fence.
Now, read some of the news/headlines from Indian newspapers this year
4 madrassa teachers accused of trafficking 59 children (brought from Bihar to Maharashtra by train)
Human trafficking racket busted, (Rs 2.13 crore seized and 64 tolas of gold worth around Rs 33 lakh.)
Only 16% of human trafficking cases in 2021 saw convictions: NCRB data
Infant rescued; seven, including five women, arrested for selling newborns in Delhi. TOI.
The Global Slavery Index 2023 showed how G20 countries (representing over three-quarters of the world's economy), including India, are fuelling modern slavery. As India takes the helm of the G20 presidency and prepares to address critical global issues, will human trafficking get attention? It's time India took a lead through the G20 Presidency to highlight the issue and advocate for a comprehensive, victim-centred, and trauma-informed approach to human trafficking.
The stories of pain and brokenness we encounter every day are heart-breaking. Just read some of them here. But there is hope for each one of them and that is why Purnata is dedicated to working tirelessly to prevent vulnerable people and combat Human Trafficking in all its forms. We also prepare and make available vital resources to empower people to make an impact in their communities.
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
With key staff falling sick and with heavy rains lashing the city, we were wondering what could be done to celebrate this important day.
As the theme this year states, the central, transformative promise is “Leave no one behind” In the context of trafficking in persons, leaving people behind means:
1. Failing to end the exploitation of trafficking victims,
2. Failing to support victim-survivors once they are free from their traffickers, and
3. Leaving identifiable groups vulnerable to traffickers.
We decided to focus on the victims of human trafficking we work with and provide them with a way out. We did a unique "Job Fair" where over 25 ladies and 16 youth attended (8 of them from our other community). We had a friend Sahayata from Bangalore share her story of how she was abused as a young girl and how she overcame that and learned to forgive.
1. Pramila Pawar, entrepreneur and Founder of Amara Recruitments along with her son Gaurav also from Amara encouraged the women. Gaurav led in some songs and encouraged them. Pramila along with colleague Umer shared that while encouraging the youth to study, also laid out opportunities for the women and youth who had given up on studies to pursue opportunities abroad. They specialise in blue-collar recruitment and have the heart to help these women and youth. Opportunities like housekeeping, patient care, pet care, kitchen assistance, cooking, etc were some of the opportunities available.
2. Megha Sikchi, a fashion designer from Ahmedabad is the Founder of The OFU (Only For You). She encouraged the women to grab the opportunities being given to them, stand on their feet and not be dependent on anyone else for their future.
3. Byula C. (wife of Charles C.), an entrepreneur and Director of Interglobe Engineering, Ahmedabad, shared about opportunities with packaging in Amazon warehouses and also as Operators in water treatment plants in different parts of the country.
4. Zomato has reached out to us providing opportunities for women to work at their own time and hours for delivery through Blinkit. Though they did not come, we showed a video they sent.
We plan to provide a focussed training to prepare those who have expressed a desire to leave and take up such jobs. Pramila will help provide training for the women and youth before working on these opportunities.
Three survivors (our Heros') shared their stories. Pinky shared how she was rescued by Purnata, trained and placed in an export manufacturing company for survivors and helped get married and settle down. Bhima shared how she was rescued, trained and now independent and helping other women. Reena shared her story of how she was sold and abused as a child and now she is dreaming of being a baker. Her story was so powerful, many in the audience broke down. It touched our spirits and we could feel her pain.
Our team conducted an awareness program on the eve of World Day against Trafficking in Persons in Akharpur, Basirhat - North 24 Parganas, WB. Around 40 women from the communities of various ages and 38 children from the centre and a few from the communities participated in the program.
Our staff Subrato & Mithu shared about Purnata and Human Trafficking. Souvik, our Sr. Program Coordinator for WB shared about the importance of community life and education. A newly elected lady member of the local Panchayat was our Chief Guest and shared about the importance of education and traps while getting jobs. The children from our centre presented a skit highlighting the story of trafficking for child labour from villages. They also showed how a girl is rescued by the Police with help from NGOs. The crowd enjoyed the skit as it was the first time in their lives they saw children from their communities acting in a skit! All of them interacted with each other over a little snack and shared how they enjoyed and learnt more about trafficking.
Purnata AGM was held on the 22nd of July (Saturday) with a project visit scheduled for the 21st (Friday).
We had an initial visit to the office from where the Board/Society members met all the Purnata staff over Zoom. After an encouraging meeting, five of the members visited and spent time after lunch, interacting with several women and youth. Due to heavy rains, we couldn't do much of a visit to the Red Light Area.
On the 22nd the deliberations were attended by eight Society members and a special invitee. It was a time when we shared reports for FY 2022-23, took stock of our present financial situation, and made concrete plans for a more sustainable future (FY 2023-24).
Let's continue to work for a traffick-free world.