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I found my rainbow

My friends, I had almost given up. No matter how much I thought about it, I could not come up with my vision. There are so many issues and causes that I want to take up. I kept mulling for days— what exactly is my vision? And each time my mind swam in a haze of bubbles.

It was like trying to catch the end of a rainbow.

Until, this morning, I received a mail from Mr. Dinesh Mishra sharing news about *Sarlaa. Strikingly beautiful with a slender form and a smile which deepened her dimples, I had met her two and a half years back. I was then on a visit to a partner NGO run shelter home, as well as to attend a public hearing on witchcraft, violence against women and human trafficking in one of the tribal states of India, Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Sarlaa, like 30 other girls sheltered in that house, were all victims of human trafficking. Each one of these girls had gone through a harrowing experience and two of them were also pregnant. Sarlaa was 13 when she sold off by her family to a city based brothel in Delhi. 2 years later when she was rescued by an NGO, her family and her village refused to take her back saying that she was ‘ dirty’ and ‘polluted’. Unable to bear the trauma, she even tried to commit suicide.

Coming back to the email, I would like to share few lines from it.

“Sarlaa is very happy, for she cleared her 12th exam with good marks. The headmistress has given her a job in the school, where she will be teaching primary students and will get 1500 Rupees . After dusherra (an Hindu festival), she is planning to go to her village and meet her family. She has forgiven them. She wants to continue her work at the shelter homes for in her words, ‘I don’t want the other girls to have my fate. I want to guard and protect them from all evils..."

For me suddenly, the cobwebs that were forming in my mind started dissolving.

And, I found my vision, my talisman.I want to reach out to girls like Sarlaa and help them from becoming a victim of this heinous crime, where women and children are sold like cattles.

My vision is to educate and empower young girls and families so that they don’t have to make the horrible arithmetic of selling off a child so that the others can be fed or be duped into believing that a better future for their children in the cities..

And my plan is to devise a project that will focus on communities that are marginalized and vulnerable and provide a comprehensive anti human trafficking approach of prevention, protection and prosecution. I plan to mobilize and mentor youths and create a cadre of volunteers called ‘Saathis’— friend in Hindi. They will be empowered to spread awareness about this issue and form vigilante groups so that incidence of human trafficking can be stopped. They will advocate for the enrollment of children, particularly the girl child and also share information, facilitate the availing of Government welfare schemes for the poor families such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act; Right to Information Act ; Bharat Nirman; Diksha among others.

This way, I want to create 50,000 Saathis in the next 3 years particularly in the states of Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand.

In realizing this vision, opportunities such as ‘Voices of our Correspondent’ can go on to play a very encouraging role. Going through the trainings and having a mentor will help me sharpen my skills and expand my network. I am positive that it will double my confidence and add credibility to my resume, which in turn will help me in attracting partners for my project.

Most importantly being a Voice of our Correspondent, I will no longer be a lone crusader. I know for sure that there will be these hundreds of fighters, who will conspire and back me up when the world will pull me down.

Their strong voices will breathe into me and make me rise and rise.

* not her real name

Comments

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Rainbows...

Pinkypradhan-

I am so grateful you found your rainbow! A number of years ago I, too, searched for my vision. I have so many interests, passions, things to fight for.... but when I compared them all, they had two things in common: relationships and communication. After I identified that I was able to develop more specific goals and steps to achieve them. You will, no doubt, encounter obstacles of many kinds. But you can look at them as opportunities for creativity, be persistent, and gather around you those who can hold you up or walk by your side.

I will walk with you as you follow your rainbow. I welcome you to read my past journal entries where I explain more of my story. I think you'd enjoy "What's my Story" and "Relationships and Communication".

I'd also invite you to be a part of my WP community so we can walk together.

Peace to you, dear sister.

-Michelle

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

pinkypradhan's picture

Michelle, I absolutely second

Michelle,

I absolutely second your thoughts here. Even I am passionate about a number of issues and now, as a part of this exercise, I have narrowed down to what I want, the road ahead only seems tough.But, with this meesage of yours, I find deep solace. Your words are very comforting.

I will definitely go through your entries and I am confident that we will become great friends in coming days.

Thank you so much for the invitation to join your community and I love your line ' I will walk with you as you follow your rainbow'. There is so much power in your words. I am happy to be connected with you!!

Peace back to your, sister!!!

Pinky

Stella Paul's picture

Fingers Crossed

Well, its 3rd Oct already and so let me begin by saying what I should first say: Best of luck! I really hope you become a VOF

However, my support for you and your vision,, Pinky, will continue beyond and after VOF. Hope to interact more on this and see you in action in coming days!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

pinkypradhan's picture

Thanks Stella, And frankly

Thanks Stella,

And frankly speaking I already see you among the 30. If i feature then its my pure luck.I am really interested in networking and I see a lot of scope out here.

I look forward to our interaction and may be we can catch up in India as well. I might be there sometime next year to start my project.I have been able to generate some intereste , lets see how that goes.

take care Chica and thanks for the message!

Pinky

Stella Paul's picture

Absolutely!

I don't think any woman here will win anything by luck. Even to win a friend, you are working hard - sitting before the computer this late, pouring your energy in articulating your thoughts, gaining our confidence. No, you will win because you deserve it. Having said that, to me, everyone is already a winner, because everyone now has walked a line - the structure of the contest has made us look at the past, the present and the future and we are more clearer of who we are and what we want to be. And thats the sign of a winner.

We will surely stay connected and catch up too, whenever you are here. Friends are not what I am famous for losing :)

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

SallyB's picture

I'm impressed with and deeply

I'm impressed with and deeply touched by both your writing and vision! Please, continue with the good work.

pinkypradhan's picture

Hi Sally, Thank you, I am

Hi Sally,

Thank you, I am submitting this proposal of funding agency in India.Hopefully, something should work out!

Best
Pinky

Pinky

Frans's picture

your post

Thank you for writing so movingly and persuasively about your vision. I am an American, living in Cambodia where sex trafficking is a big problem so what you had to say really resonates with me. I hope you realize your vision and that your passion and dedication will take you a long way to achieving it. Regards, Fran

cate morriss's picture

power to you!

Pinky your vision is wonderful and I wish you every success with funding. i think you can inspire many others if you keep writing and reaching out - you will find your many Saathis I am sure of it!
Cate

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