Sexual Trafficking In India

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day where people across the globe were asked to recognize and take action against the many forms of human rights abuses that take place in the world. A powerful talk on TED by Sunitha Krishnan brought insight into the grueling ground realities of sex trafficking in India- a human rights abuse that affects millions of women, their children and families. Krishnan addresses both what it looks like and the difficulties of rescuing women and their children from this $10 million industry. Krishnan says, “It’s normal to be raped by 100 men a day and abnormal to live in a shelter. It’s abnormal to get rehabilitated. It’s in that context that I rescue children. I rescue children as young as 3 years and women as old as 40 years.” Krishnan has rescued 3,200 girls.

She highlights how this modern day slavery and third largest form of organized crime affects those of all backgrounds-from middle class IS officers’ daughters to street children. You can watch the talk here (disclaimer: the talk contains graphic images and descriptions of violence).

Her work on commercial sexual exploitation is powerful because of her courageous attitude towards rescuing victims. Krishnan’s tenacious spirit coupled with her collaborative approach of bringing government, NGOs, and corporations together to fight sexual trafficking is unique. While listening to her talk, I found her organization’s approach to moving women in the commercial sex trade industry into new jobs particularly unique. An essential part of these women’s rehabilitation is to gain a new economic skill set that utilizes the power from their pain while harnessing their potential. Thus, girls are being trained as professional welders, carpenters, and mansons instead of working on computers. Often providing technical skill sets in information technology is seen as powerful form of empowerment, particularly in a place like Hyderabad-the technological capital of the world. So, “why welding and not computers?” Krishan says,

“They had an immense amount of courage without any “pardahs” inside of their bodies. They could fight in a male dominated world very easily and not feel shy about it. [By working] as carpenters and masons … as security guards and cab drivers … they are gaining confidence, restoring dignity, and building hope. “

These women excel in their careers and works for large corporations. However, the biggest obstacle they continue to face is not economics but the lack of empathy from civil society. The stigma that these women live with even after moving out of the sexual trade industry forces them to suffer in silence. Krishnan says that civil society has “Ph.D.s on victimizing a victim”. She requests that within our limited worlds, civil society needs to open their minds and hearts to accept these victims of sexual trafficking as human beings. It is an essential part of their rehabilitation as is gaining an economic skill set.


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7 Responses to “Sexual Trafficking In India”

  1. Rajinder Singh says:

    A lot of people trade their time and skills, for money. Doesnt matter it its doctors,lawyers, engineers, salespeople, bankers, cab drivers,etc. The commercial world is more like the Merle Haggard song -" If u got the Money, I got time"

    These unfortunate, poor women do this for their families because of societies failures, and do this for survival. There are many others who prefer to die, if that is an option.

    Consider successful professionals working for $$ money under the backdrop of this song –


    This is only food for thought, and NOT to offend any successful professionals. More power to you. So kindly think about it that way…

    We need to do more for victims in our society and not forget them……Although dont see this as a sikh issue.

  2. Rajinder Singh says:

    A lot of people trade their time and skills, for money. Doesnt matter it its doctors,lawyers, engineers, salespeople, bankers, cab drivers,etc. The commercial world is more like the Merle Haggard song -" If u got the Money, I got time"

    These unfortunate, poor women do this for their families because of societies failures, and do this for survival. There are many others who prefer to die, if that is an option.

    Consider successful professionals working for $$ money under the backdrop of this song –


    This is only food for thought, and NOT to offend any successful professionals. More power to you. So kindly think about it that way…

    We need to do more for victims in our society and not forget them……Although dont see this as a sikh issue.

  3. Harinder says:

    Our History :–

    Nadir Shah's Invasion(1738-1739)

    He left Delhi at the beginning of May 1739, taking with him a few thousand Indian girls (both Hindu and Muslim), a large number of boys as slaves and thousands of elephants, horses and camels loaded with the booty his men had collected.

    Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia who had just turned 21, showed a glimpse of his greatness as a leader by planning those raids, and by escorting the freed maidens to responsible homes from where they could return to their families

    http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/nadir

  4. Harinder says:

    Our History :–

    Nadir Shah’s Invasion(1738-1739)

    He left Delhi at the beginning of May 1739, taking with him a few thousand Indian girls (both Hindu and Muslim), a large number of boys as slaves and thousands of elephants, horses and camels loaded with the booty his men had collected.

    Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia who had just turned 21, showed a glimpse of his greatness as a leader by planning those raids, and by escorting the freed maidens to responsible homes from where they could return to their families

    http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/nadir.html

  5. whatsinaname says:

    “It’s normal to be raped by 100 men a day and abnormal to live in a shelter." … this is one of those statements that leaves you in sheer disbelief. It feels surreal that these primative, degenerative and just insanely invasive and aweful crimes can continue in what is known to be an age of 'advancement'. It makes me want to scream everytime I read something like this. Before anyone makes reference to the idea that India is still a 'developing country'… I ask you to stop and think what economic progression has to do with morality.

    'The stigma that these women live with even after moving out of the sexual trade industry forces them to suffer in silence.' …Women suffer so much on so many different levels. Often it is women who perpetuate the stigma against already abused women. It's foul.

    Harinder ji, Sikhi in it's essence is egalitarian and progressive our practice of Sikhi in contemporary society is not.

  6. whatsinaname says:

    “It’s normal to be raped by 100 men a day and abnormal to live in a shelter." … this is one of those statements that leaves you in sheer disbelief. It feels surreal that these primative, degenerative and just insanely invasive and aweful crimes can continue in what is known to be an age of 'advancement'. It makes me want to scream everytime I read something like this. Before anyone makes reference to the idea that India is still a 'developing country'… I ask you to stop and think what economic progression has to do with morality.

    'The stigma that these women live with even after moving out of the sexual trade industry forces them to suffer in silence.' …Women suffer so much on so many different levels. Often it is women who perpetuate the stigma against already abused women. It's foul.

    Harinder ji, Sikhi in it's essence is egalitarian and progressive our practice of Sikhi in contemporary society is not.

  7. General sexual interaction in india is increasing and expanding. It is discouraged and disliked. It is offered for the cheap immoral activities.

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