Caravan ‘Swaraksha’ to raise awareness on Human Trafficking in Odisha

The U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad and “Prajwala” a Hyderabad-based anti-trafficking organization launched their joint project: “Swaraksha” a community awakening CARAVAN to counter trafficking. Swaraksha was launched on January 9th 2016 to May 2016 from Hyderabad and will travel 53 districts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha targeting 132 million people.

The campaign aims to awaken the communities on the dangers of human trafficking, motivating communities to protect themselves, and giving them the tools to say “no” to traffickers. The caravan will also address men and boys to target the demand for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Caravan will reach Odisha on 18th March and will travel through all the 30 districts of Odisha. Government of Odisha, Catholic Relief Services and Kalinga Institute of Social Science are the lead partners to support this unique caravan said Sunitha Krishnan, founder, Prajwala in a press meet in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Prajwala activists, accompanied by survivors of trafficking, are travelling in the caravan. A series of programs is being conducted every day.

Documentary films on trafficking are screened, and debates are held, to alert communities on how the network of human smugglers operate, and the modus operandi they have adopted to trap boys and girls to lure them in the name of employment, marriage, love, film roles or for a better life.

During the campaign, the Prajwala teams has also established network of community vigilant groups and train them to spot and report trafficking across the three states, so communities are equipped to counter the attempts of trafficking, she added.

Informing about the activity going on KISS, Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder KIIT & KISS said, KISS has been campaigning against human trafficking and sexual harassment against children through education imparted to 25 thousand tribal students. The students of KISS also educated their community against human trafficking, when they go to their villages during vacations.

Giving information about state government’s participation in ‘Swaraksha’ Ms. Subhra Mohanty, Dy Director, Women and Child Development Department and Dr. Amrita Patel, Gender Advisor & Coordinator, Swaraksha said, the govt. of Odisha is fully supporting this campaign. Women & Child Development and Home Department involved in this programme. All the district collectors of 30 districts are instructed to do the needful for successful of this campaign. Among others Ms. Kirti Mishra, Head of Office, Odisha, Catholic Relief Services also present in the press conference.

“Even one woman, one man, or one child trafficked is one too many. The government of United States is deeply committed to combating all forms of human trafficking, which we regard as modern-day slavery. But no government, no NGO, no volunteer, no police officer, no judge can succeed in this fight unless we deeply collaborate together and with the public.  Every man, woman, and child of goodwill should come together and cooperate to end this horrific crime.” said Michael Mullins, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad.

Awareness CampaignCaravanHuman traffickingOdishaSwaraksha