Dressed in school dress, a bag clinging to her shoulders, walking with confidence, is Palak, feeling safe holding her mumma's(Payal) hand. This is when Payal let goes her child's hand and asks her to go to the man standing across the street, and quickly turns around.
Where are you going mumma ?
I'll be back soon. Bye-Bye kid.
This was the last conversation little Palak had with her mom.
Payal never returned. And at the age of 5, Palak was in the hands traffickers.
Events like such happens in every corner of our country, parents like such exists in every village, town, city of our Nation, and brokerage like such works in every street of our India. Girls aged 3 and women as old as 40 are being sold for money. Their only fault is being born without penises.
In the name of adoption, organ trade, forced labor, these girls are pushed into the Industry of sexual Exploitation. Even before the girl could process the whole of it, she'd be raped by 100's of men. Yes, like 100's ! Used and thrown like she were a disposable can. They're thrown away, anywhere and everywhere, on railway tracks, in public toilets, under over-bridges, in oceans. No issues if she's dead, but by any chance, if the girl survives, she lies there helpless, starving to death.
And when these girls somehow musters the strength to rise up and walk with the world, even after the realization of being a victim, our society rewards them with stigmatization. They are treated with hatred no less than given to a terrorist. A girl finds it a curse to be born in a patriarchal society like thus.
Here's this lady named Sunitha Krishnan from Hyderabad who took a social initiative to dedicate her life to these girls. At the age of 15, she was gang-raped by eight men. This event served as an impetus for her work against commercial sexual exploitation. She's the co-founder of Prajwala, an institution that assists trafficked women and girls in finding shelter. The organization also helps pay for the education of five thousand children infected with HIV/AIDS in Hyderabad. Prajwala has served thousands of children of prostituted mothers who fall into modern day slavery. The NGOs strategy is to remove women from brothels by giving their children education and career opportunities. Krishnan and her staff train survivors in carpentry, welding, printing, masonry and housekeeping.
She quotes :
There’s so much desensitization that has happened, so much normalization of exploitation that has happened, so much internalization of trauma that has happened.
She's doing her bit, Are WE ?
Written for iDiya IndiChange http://www.isb.edu/idiya/