Padmashri Dr.Sunitha Krishnan

Padmashri Dr.Sunitha Krishnan is an eminent anti-trafficking activist,chief functionary and co-founder of Prajwala foundation (meaning eternal flame)  based at Hyderabad,India.The Organization rescues women from brothels,educates their children to prevent second-generation prostitution - through education,rehabilitation,job training and helps them reintegrate in the society.The organization fights sexual slavery and helps to restore hope and dignity to countless nameless survivors,encourages people to empathize and accept trafficking victims as human beings.

The shelter run by Prajwala foundation ‘Asha Niketan’ is one of the biggest rehabilitation facilities in the country and the world.Asha Niketan is home to girls from 3 to 40 years of age.In Dr.Sunitha Krishnan's words it is a safe haven and therapeutic community for the violated.Asha Niketan prepares rescued women and children for a self-sufficient future.The facility’s location is kept confidential and visitors are strictly not allowed,high security measures are taken as the facility and the women inside were once attacked by traffickers who pretended to be victims.

It was a rare event that she visited the US, volunteers of Project Roshni a support group of Prajwala in the Bay Area of California wanted to create awareness among the community here.Dr Sunitha Krishnan has talked at Cisco,Google and Facebook and many have pledged to support her cause.

Dr.Sunitha Krishnan says that in order to carry such rescue work in dangerous and tricky situations it is very important to be highly skilled along with having a good heart and good will for the mission.Prajwala's team has 300 extra ordinary people who are extensively trained,60% of them are survivors themselves leading the rescue,rehab and community work.
Also she commented that the work they do as a team is very minuscule when compared to the number of victims.

At 4 feet 6 inches she is a gentle giant,one of us asked what gives her the power to do what she does - she humbly said My girls, and their smiles give me the power to do more.It was surprising to know that she has not taken a single day off for the past 21 years.

Sexual Trafficking and it's effects:

Sexual slavery is one of the oldest form of slavery in the world and it is a centuries old problem.It is one of the worst forms of human violation,modern day slavery and world’s third largest organized crime.Commercial sexual exploitation demolishes mind, body and soul of a person and victimizes the victim as much as no other crime does.

Encashment from human body,the greed to get maximum profit,meeting targets to generate revenues for the spotters,traffickers,goons and pimps puts the women and children in a hell hole,also it is very disgraceful to comment that prostitution is performance based forced profession.

Hundred’s of men use children’s flesh to satisfy their libido and when the victims are of no use to them,they are dumped on roads to suffer and die.Traffickers put the victims in debt trap and it should be noted that only 7% get rescued and the rest of the 93% in the hell don’t have an exit and die with several venereal diseases.

It takes 3 long months for the victims to understand that they can lead normal lives and that they were violated many times in a day for many years.It takes a lot of time and potential to create an identity for the victims.

The courageous crusader says that she has been attacked 17 times and has many defunct body parts and has clots on her eyes till date.Irreversible bodily damages are done to vulnerable women,adding to the pain are being ostracized,branded,name called and marginalized while the trafficker who is a liar,a criminal,a fraud survives in the money that they bring in.

The journeys of victims are socially excluded and they are made to live in isolation.Bringing back the dignity,hope and faith in their lives are challenging and demanding,but our activist believes that by giving profound message to world,strategizing and intervening at the right time can bring hope and dignity to the victims.
Real change can happen only when there is inclusion of recsued women in society as equals.

She continued that beneath the layers of pain there is a volcano of power within each victim and making them see their real potential and to understand that they can live life like regular humans is the main motive of Prajwala.

It is very moving to know that the Prajwala girls are very generous and ever ready to give back to the community.
Dr.Sunitha Krishnan proudly said her girls gave away the best of their clothes during the floods in Chennai.
What makes us think here is when battered people can give back so much to the community how much should people who have luxuries give back?? 

Under darkness,dejection and despair there is still Hope and instilling hope doesn’t happen automatically but Prajwala’s eternal flame will shine bright,foster and restore faith and hope in the lives of victims.Prajwala has proved this to the world and along with the foundation the whole society must wake up for change and ensure that children won’t be bought for flesh trade and that there won’t be any buyers of sex and watchers of pornography.

Further more,Dr.Sunitha Krishnan added that Change should happen in families, in our small worlds,our communities and when it spreads whole wide there won’t be any trafficking.

Few ways on ‘How we can respond’ to these acts and make change possible:

1.Breaking the silence around us by being more vocal.
2.Breaking the culture of tolerance(Go Zero Tolerance!!)
3.Breaking despondency -both individually and collectively.
4.Standing up for a crusader/activist or an organization and pitch in with them.
5.Pledge to be the CHANGE!

Take away for parents:

1.To be an alert parent is not only to be compassionate,empathetic but also skilled.
2.Broaden the horizons for the children,but let them know their boundaries.
3.Be a friend to your children and avoid ‘don’t do that’,’don’t do this’ dialogues.
4.Let them talk openly about their bodies and even fantasies.
5.Teach  male children that women’s bodies can never be an object for pleasure.

Good News:

Dr.Sunitha Krishnan has been closely working with the Indian government to define anti-trafficking policy, and her recommendations for rehabilitating sex victims have been passed into state legislations and by the end of december there would be a comprehensive legislation for anti-trafficking.

There can be million ways of not doing it but we need to find that one way in which we can make it happen.

Dr Sunitha Krishnan's words are reverberating in our ears and we want to do our best for her movement and the keep the flame burning bright.

Are you ready to pledge with us today? May we all become her voice and carry her legacy and create a ripple effect!!

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