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    What Happens With Rape Victims, Sex Workers & Their Illegitimate Children?

    By

    December 27, 2015

    SunithaKrishnan1

    Meet Sunita Krishnan, an inspiration, a victim who became an activist, a phoenix who rose from the ashes of a trauma to be a beacon of hope for many women and children across India.

    She is the co-founder of an NGO, Prajwala, which rehabilitates sex workers and their children. Recently Mrs. Krishnan and Prajwala made a remarkable achievement by fighting at the Supreme Court to establish an Organised Crime Investigating Agency to rehabilitate and protect victims of child trafficking

    THE TRAUMA AND THE TRANSFORMATION

    Sunita was born to Malayali parents and she was into social work since her childhood. But her world almost toppled when she was 18. One night in Bangalore, she was gang raped by eight men. She went into traumatic stage but she did not let the trauma define her. This incident became a turning point in her career and her life. What could have broken the spirit of any person in her place, Sunita Krishnan made it a point to rescue not just herself but also other women who were forced into flesh trade and were raped brutally.

    THE ROLE OF PRAJWALA IN REHABILITATION OF VICTIMS

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    The warm smiles on the innocent young faces, you meet on entering Prajwala- they did not have a childhood they deserved. Born as illegitimate children of prostitutes and sex workers, these kids were often abused and raped by the ‘customers’ and ‘uncles’ who visited their mothers. Some were addicted to drugs and alcohol before they knew it because the ‘customers’ stuffed it in their mouths when the kids cried out of fear and hunger. Kids suffering from sexually transmitted diseases were not a rarity either. Thanks to the initiatives of Prajwala, these kids and their mothers can start on a fresh page.

    Once a woman is trapped into prostitution it is not easy for her to quit or make a different choice. In most of the cases, prostitution is not a choice women make out of free will. Government evacuates red street areas and dance bars, but rehabilitation of these women are often neglected. In that case, pimping and prostitution would be the only option left because of the social ostracism they face. Prajwala rescues the children and women who want a way out, rehabilitates them, takes care of their health and trains them in a skilled labour so that they may have an alternate career and life style. Prajwala has transformed the lives of over 12000 people affected by prostitution and operates in Tamil Nadu, Seemandhra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

    Sunita Krishnan was appointed as advisor for the Government of Kerala’s Nirbhaya policy for Women and Children to fight sexual violence and trafficking in 2011. She has produced two movies along with her husband Rajesh Touchriver- Anamika and Naan Bangaru Thalli which is included in the curriculum of National Police Training Academy. She cooperates with government machinery of various states to make prostitution illegal and provide adequate support of rape victims and sex workers.

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    Though years have passed after the sexual assault episode, she has not fully recovered. Even today, she passes out cold when she gets body odour because it reminds her of the rape. She cannot bear children because of the attack. One thing that makes me wonder, if such a strong person like Sunita Krishnan is so strongly affected by rape, what about all those children who are raped in India? What about the women who keep it quite because of the ‘shame’ associated with it? If rape and post traumatic symptoms of rape is so mind numbing, how can we treat rape with a casual attitude?  Sunitha-Krishnan

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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