Sunday, October 12, 2014

STATE CONNIVANCE OR APATHY?

This has been one of the most traumatic week of my life time. A mob attack from within!!!
 A few weeks back, 7 girls rescued by Gopalapuram police,Secunderabad were admitted in our shelter through court order. In just 3 days we were uncomfortable with these women, there was something sinister about them. This was further reinforced when 30 other girls who were cheery and full of life, willing to learn new trades started showing signs of hostility. In a few hours we realized that these were 7 traffickers posing as victims…in essence infiltrators and the 30 girls belonged to their gang.
I immediately informed the concerned court, and the magistrate was clueless on what has to be done as the police had shown these women as victims in their FIR.
Although we were alert and for weeks together there was no sign of any trouble…what we did not realize is that a huge conspiracy was being hatched.
Last week on Durgashtami day, these 37 instigated another 100 and mobbed the shelter from within…unimaginable violence, 5-6lakh worth property was damaged(truck, tata sumo all vehicles including)  and 16 people were injured including 4 staff. As the girls slashed others with broken pieces of glasses and stoned the shelter…over 300 others were shivering with fright and praying for their lives.
They had planned to do this on a day when I am not in town and they had presumed that I was traveling to Delhi. Unfortunately for them my plans had changed and I was very much in the city. I was able to mobilize police support and start from Hyderabad immediately(shelter is 65 kms from Hyderabad). With the timely support of the local police who mobilized force from nearby stations we were able to control the mob within the campus. I shudder to think, even if one girl had come out of the campus…what a field day media would have had and what all I will have to answer! Much later I came to know that media was already informed and they were desperately waiting for some news outside…a district addition did go ahead  and print something about fishy happenings inside our shelter…
It has taken 6 days and 6 nights for me to bring back some sense of hope and confidence in 450 women and children living in our therapeutic community. I had to speak to each one of them…and 90% of them were traumatized by what they saw…and kept repeating they always thought our shelter was much more safer than their own homes…but today they are scared and feel at a dead end…if not this place…where can they go?
Between all this deep within me there unbearable pain and anguish. I wonder every moment now on the truths I unraveled during this time:
-The fact that the Gopalpuram police knew these were traffickers and yet send them to our shelter especially when all these girls were supposed to give their statement in the court next week and the police is aware of it. When I confronted the police their logic was if we send them to jail they will get bail and they will become even more hardened, atleast in Prajwala we are sure they will get reformed. Was it compliment or connivance I wonder?
-The fact that Prajwala is the only licensed home for such specialized care for sex trafficked victims both in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. And police from all over India just keep dumping girls on our head through court orders. There is not a single Government run shelter home for this cause. Where is the state accountability to deal with this problem?
-The fact that Centrally sponsored Ujjwala scheme is a disaster to say the least. The scheme does not even acknowledge both in word and action that sex trafficking is an organized crime and homes getting this scheme should get adequate/proportionate security. The implementation and disbursement is even more pathetic…consequently 80% of fraudulent NGO’s are only accessing the scheme.
-The fact that in this country there is no victim witness protection scheme which can ensure that all victim witnesses in these cases are provided adequate protection post their stay in safe house….so what is their fate when they leave our shelters? And therefore why should they testify at all? State does not protect them…I can give only for a limited period of time….and the perpetrators thanks to our brilliant criminal justice system will get a bail and will be waiting for the victim outside my shelter as soon as she is out!
Today I am feeling so choked and frustrated…there is only so much I can do as an individual and an organization. The State neither acknowledges this problem nor is willing to place resources to fight this crime…
We at one end struggle with resource crunch…at another fight the sex mafia but the biggest fight is against the society and State for its apathy and rejection. 

After rescuing 12,000 girls from prostitution and attempting to rehabilitate and reintegrate them I am still wondering…will I ever make an impact?

22 comments:

  1. Oh My God! Shocking! didn't expected. God is with you mam...No one can destroy your strong determination. We are all worthless to this country....You are the special person sent by god for helping hundreds of sisters. Hope you will be strong and determined forever. From your "Prajwala", we would like to see many more "Sunitaas" who can change the face of the society and cleans the flesh trade.
    "GOD BLESS YOU ALL"

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  2. You are unique amazing inspirational person.The problem is govt rules and illegal steps who are directly or indirectly involved with it.You have already made an impact on many people and no doubt you will continue doing it.God bless you Mam.Salute!!

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  3. When you posted about this on facebook.. this is what I had said..
    "The only thing that I can do right now.. is to tell you Sunitha that you have not failed! You have achieved, not for yourself but for thousands of other girls, whose lives you have saved. It is not you fault that millions of them get trafficked and forced into this crime.. but it IS because of you, that thousands of them have come out of it. Every life is precious, every single life is precious, and you have single handedly changed thousands of lives.. for good, when people like me are only talking about it. Remember the day when you went out for the first time, knowing just one thing that you want to do something for them, and then look at today... THIS is your achievement. This is a lot more than success.. So please do not think that you have failed. I assure you that my heart is open for these women, and I can also assure you that there are many more like me.. there will be many more in future... and believe me, YOU have played a very big role in making that happen."

    Will is make an impact? The answer is; you already have! A lot still has to change.. but a lot has already changed over the years.. just because of you. There were not as many people fighting for this when you started, but today there are lot more people standing by you. I am not in a position today to do something significant, but I know I will.. and I'm desperate for this time to pass so that I can do a little more than talking and telling more people about it.. There are many more like me.. And there will be a lot more tomorrow..

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  4. Hello Sunitha - I am going to watch the movie "Na Bangaaru Talli" at Prasad Labs today @ 2pm and hope to meet you. You are "giving" your "time" for a cause that is the need of the hour - you are a hero in our eyes and you need to do this only because of the "joy" that it brings to the ones you "save" - for nothing else. Let historians bother about the impact you are making - for us your impact is already being felt - loud and clear.

    Here is a poem "On Giving" by Kahlil Gibran - that will hopefully answer the question you asked in the very last line of your post.

    You give but little when you give of your possessions.
    It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
    For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
    And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
    And what is fear of need but need itself?
    Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

    There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
    And there are those who have little and give it all.
    These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
    There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
    And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
    And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
    They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
    Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

    It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
    And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
    And is there aught you would withhold?
    All you have shall some day be given;
    Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

    You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."
    The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
    They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
    Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you.
    And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
    And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
    And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
    See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
    For in truth it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

    And you receivers... and you are all receivers... assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.
    Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;
    For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the freehearted earth for mother, and God for father.

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  5. I don't knw a lot about above stated issue...but I think u r worried about future of these girls..I think u shud get them educated from national open school..and u shud set up ur private college for btech bsc bED or some basic science based education..the money can be generated from public funding if u have a attractive website and if u declare to ppl around u to promote this cause.. I think once a person.is educated and empowered they will be free from fear to start a new life.and if u assist with big corporate companies u can ask them for placements.u cud also start a set of professionally qualified secretary's course for big companies..as for these underprivileged ppl.this much upliftment will also make a difference in their lives.I think setting up a small college is not a easy task but its not a difficult task also..all u need to do is to take some loan and convey ur msg to the world from.a stable web platform

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    Replies
    1. Shree Ranjan, I believe u are not even worth to suggest her!! and that is one pathetic comment u have added!!! Learn about her her achievements her sacrifices her developments her everything and then u would realize u have made one unholy comment for the post... stop suggesting and try helping...

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    2. I am with anonymous. All this setting up of website and colleges needs time and plenty of funds. Already Sunitha's hands are full. She seems to be working round the clock. We readers are cowards, we can only sympathise and pray for the good of all.

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  6. Hello Ms.Sunitha .... I am deeply moved by your post...I did hear about this incident thru one of my friends and was disturbed. ...but reading your words definitely crested a stir....I live far away ...I want to work with you. ..help those girls. ...I wish I get some chance some day to do at least 2% of what you do ma'am. ..I guess I would feel my life has been meaningful....now I guess I do know what you would've gone through handling this unfortunate situation. ...but not just that 12k snd odd girls you have no doubt made an impact on many whom u dont even know....hats off to you. ...do not let anything put u down...

    Http:// Logsofthoughts.blogspot.com

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  7. Keep up the good work Sunitha, you have the guts which many spineless politicians do not have, GOD will help you and so will the people.

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  8. Hi sunitha krishnan,

    I am avinash, working individual in bangalore. i dont know what to say for the courage u have shown. all i want to say is i wanna be a part of it.directly or indireclty.
    if u or someone from the NGO can help me to walk the path u have chosen pleaese ping me on avinash.pagunta@gmail.com
    Thanks for everything u are doing and u have done!!!

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  11. Sunitha,

    You are sent by GOD as an angel with a purpose. You have already met the purpose and you have achieved more than anyone would think. I guess, you just need to continue this till your last breath.

    God bless and give you peace and heaven.

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  13. Thank you for writing Sunitha Krishnan. Have no doubt that your actions are worth all of the happiness and peace you have brought the survivors who were rescued by your arms. Even if only one child was to live a long, healthy and thriving life because you cared, that is worth the world. You are up against darkness that threatens to consume so many innocent lives, but what it doesn't know is that light, the kind you are fighting with, is much, much stronger. There is nothing they can do that will ever change that, and the tinniest flicker of faith and hope will turn into a great flame that will spread across the land and the darkness will not reign anymore. Keep fighting Sunitha, there are so many who love you for what you have done, all around the world.

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  14. Please don't lose hope now.
    I can't even begin to imagine what that pressure feels like.
    Go within, dive into the silence and find your answers.
    Nothing you have done is in vain.
    Your actions show me that humanity has not lost to malice.
    Although in the grand scheme of things your actions seem minute, to those girls you've completely change their world, which has an exponential effect. Furthermore, your actions are helping the world metamorphose into something far better.

    If you have any requests of the international community - we want to help you somehow. You have many true friends and supporters ready to amplify your impact around the globe. I send my love and well-wishes for you and the girls. Good luck to you Sunitha Krishnan. Don't give up. You are extraordinary - and universal truth is on your side.

    Please keep sharing your thoughts.

    -- Why the #&%$ are there escort services posting on this blog.

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  15. Dear Sunitha ~ I just sent you some emails. I hope to hear back from you. I explain in my emails so please read them. I would like to help. I have been looking for a place to donate part of the proceeds from the book I just wrote. It is at the publisher now. It is about my 4 deaths.. We call them Near Death Experiences. I want to use one of your pictures for my book cover. I would like permission from you to use your picture and I will need some information of you so I can include it in the book. I want you to have proper credit for the picture and funds sent to you to help with the women and children in need of help at your shelter.

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  16. You are a total inspiration to women all over the World. What you are doing takes a strong human , and please dont ever think you arent making a difference. The darkness fights against you because they know you are the light. I feel helpless across the globe unable to do more except donate. I wish I could drop my life and come fight with you. I send love and positivity and trust the universe will do the right thing. Please never give up, you are our hope!

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  17. Miss World was in the November of 1996. You say it was 1995. You also claim that you left home in 1995 to Hyderabad in 1995 after your two-month sentence. That sentence, if true would have been in 1997. 800 protesters were arrested, and other reports say 1600 were arrested. There is only a report of threats of suicide. There are not reports of brickbatting.
    You are doing a valuable service, however, your stories seem farfetched and don't add up. Either you are suffering from PTSD, or are prone to the Munchausen syndrome.

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