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13 Field Stories That Highlight The Situation Of Trafficking And Child Protection

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Prerana is one of the pioneering voices in the field of anti-trafficking and child rights in India. Founded in 1986, we have been working on the ground for decades now to address social inequalities, discrimination, and stigma faced by victims of trafficking. Here is a  list of 13 stories, based on our experience in the field of child rights, that you must read to understand the situation of trafficking and child protection in India:

1. Child Protection in Madhya Pradesh – Interview with Archana Sahay

Image credit: Prerana.

Over the past few years, our Anti-trafficking Center (ATC) has been instrumental in documenting the accomplishments, challenges, and insights of anti-trafficking activists and service providers in India. In this interview with Azra Qaisar from ATC, Ms Archana Sahay, co-founder of Aarambh, Bhopal, shares her experiences of working with child rights in Madhya Pradesh.

2. 30 years in G.B. Road, Delhi – Interview with Lalitha S.A.

Image credit: Prerana.

In 2019, a team from Prerana visited Delhi to better understand the situation of sex trafficking in the capital. We visited the red-light area, Garstin Bastion Road (G.B. Rd), where we met with Ms Lalitha S.A, the founder of Mashal Shiksha Kendra (now known as SMS Centre). This is an excerpt from our interaction, as shared with Flarantxa Pereira of our Anti-trafficking Center team.

3. One day In Prerana: Crisis sees no Clock 

Image credit: Prerana.

In this series, our team members share what a day in the life of a social worker at Prerana looks like. In this blog, Megha Gupta from our Sentinel team writes about a crisis that occurred when a child in a Children’s Home could not be transferred to a new facility.

4. Education And COVID 

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This four-part series by our co-founder, Dr Pravin Patkar along with Azra Qaisar from our Anti-trafficking Center team, focused on understanding the challenges in the education of marginalized children amid the COVID-19 lockdown. This series covered challenges faced by students of Ashram Schools, the multiple roles of a school, and the cumulative inequalities brought by the digital divide.

5. Open Letter To BMC On Accessibility To Public Toilets In Mumbai

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Access to public toilets is a major issue for many communities that belong to lower-socio economic groups. We observed that many of the communities with who our Sanmaan team works were unable to access public toilets as they could not afford to pay for them. In our open letter to BMC, we urged the authorities to take note.

6. Children’s Homes And COVID-19

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Running a child care institution is a major responsibility, and this responsibility increased significantly in the current crisis. In this series, Kashina Kareem and Azra Qaisar from our Anti-trafficking Center discuss the impact of the lockdown on children and staff at the child care institutions, especially Children’s Homes.

7. Using The Term ‘Survivor’: Facilitating Conceptual Clarity In The Anti-Trafficking Domain​

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Over the past decade, we have come across an increased use of the term survivors to refer to victims of trafficking. Various platforms, organisations, institutions, individuals use the term ‘Survivor’ widely differently and there has been little effort to put these usages in a comparative and analytical perspective for better understanding. This note by our co-founder, Dr. Pravin Patkar is an attempt to facilitate conceptual clarity on the use of these terms in the anti-trafficking domain.

8. Demystifying The Yale Study On Extended Closure Of RLAs In India To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19

Image credit: Prerana.

Dr. Pravin Patkar, our co-founder along with our Assistant Director, Kashina Kareem, share our reflections on the Yale Study linking COVID-19 to red-light areas, based on our work spanning over three decades in the RLAs of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

9. (Mis)Identifying Traffickers As Per Indian Railways ​

Image credit: Prerana.

A public awareness poster on human trafficking that is often used by the Indian Railways, and has been in use for at least two years now, has steered us to discuss the issue of identification of traffickers and victims, and the politics of the image. Azra Qaisar from our Anti-trafficking Center shared observations on the politics of the image.

10. One Day In Prerana: Working In The Red Light Area Amidst The Pandemic

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A social worker working in the red light areas of Kamathipura and Falkland Road, Mumbai shares what his day looks like through the pandemic. Reehan Mirza, an outreach worker in our Night Care Center, shares his experiences, excerpts of conversations, fears, and struggles of the community.

11. Day 6: Understanding Violence In The Red-Light Area – An Interview

Representational image. Image Credit: TRF Multimedia/Flickr

Through the course of their work, the NCC team often comes across many situations of domestic violence within the community. Ms. Mugdha Dandekar, and Ms Prachi Naik, from our Night Care Center, shared their observations and experiences on domestic violence within the red-light areas as part of 16 Days of Activism.

12. Day 13: Working With Victims Of Sexual Violence – An Interview

Jadavpur University students protesting against domestic violence
Photo by Debsuddha Banerjee/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Prerana’s Sentinel team shares their observations and insights on the link between domestic violence and the vulnerabilities of victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Aaheli Gupta, Jyoti Jangir, and Priya Ahluwalia from our Sentinel team share their experiences.

13. Through The Looking Glass With Priti Patkar: Psycho-Aocial Interventions Explained In 8 Questions

Image credit: Prerana.

In this series, our co-founder Priti Patkar shares her thoughts, learnings, and challenges of working with child protection for over 33 years. In this edition, she answers some questions that we often receive on Prerana’s psycho-social interventions in cases of commercial sexual exploitation.

This blog was first published here. For more such stories, check our anti-trafficking center’s blog to know more about human trafficking and child rights in India.

Featured image for representation only.

If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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