GHRD activities in India

28-02-2011

Background

GHRD has successfully supported two projects in India that aim to empower young female victims of violence. This has been achieved in partnership with Jabala Action Research Organisation - a human rights organisation working on issues of human trafficking, child marriage and child labour based in Murshidabad, a bordering district of West Bengal where trafficking is common. It is also one of the most outdated districts in India (Sachar Committee Report 2006). For example, the rate of child marriage is 79% (Census 2001) and the female literacy rate is around 46%.

Project: Freedom through Football 

GHRD has supported Freedom through football – a project to empower young female victims of violence, trafficking and poverty between 13-17 years. The project was a great success and the following achievements have been reported:

  • 300 girls participated in total
  • 25 regular players attend tournaments
  • 50 girls regularly practice under supervision

In addition, the girls who participated were able to stand up against gender biases in real terms and gain immediate recognition, which resulted in girls staying in school longer and encouraged leadership qualities that also influenced other girls to stand up for their rights.

In 2010, the girls not only grew in confidence but began to influence their families and community members on women’s rights issues. The Block Development Officer is now retaining girls’ football as a part of the government level initiatives to spread awareness on trafficking, child marriage and rights violations. 

Other achievements in 2010 include: 

  • Ten players have become registered players with the IFA (Indian Football Association) and are regularly playing in the tournament league.
  • The Kolkata Police department and other government departments have invited the girls team to play games.
  • Documentary films are being made to highlight the success of using sports as a rehabilitation method.
  • Support has been overwhelming from families, community members and government level stakeholders.
  • The project has encouraged other groups and young girls to join.
  • The success of this project has been covered by the media (newspaper & Television).

Project: Rehabilitation of Survivors 

GHRD also supported the project ‘Rehabilitation of Survivors’- a project to help rehabilitate trafficked girls who have been victim to sexual exploitation or forced labour. The project offered survivors of trafficking with economic empowerment programs and tools so that they can earn a sustained livelihood. The project offered literacy training, and training in catering management and herbal gardens. To date, the project has rehabilitated 50 survivors.

By the end of December 2010 fifteen survivors had enrolled in formal schools and thirty survivors received regular support for their education. Ten girls have been placed in the police hospital canteen after finishing catering management training. Five girls are earning their livelihood after their training at Herbal Garden.

“Hamida (name changed) a 22-year-old young woman was trafficked to Mumbai for sexual exploitation. She was rescued by the Mumbai Police from a brothel and sent to Swadhar Shelter Home of Jabala for restoration. Hamida was counselled imparted marketable skills & literacy training. Now, she is a community police volunteer (Green Police) with Kolkata Police Department. Recently she has been adjudged as best cadet out of 993 cadets.” 

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