Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

A woman is not for sale!!!!!

A march to say ‘no’ to human trafficking

If only we knew that a large section of girls and children in the brothels have been forced to sexual slavery, are not paid for their services and have been kidnapped from unknowing parents and sold off to gigolos and pimps, would we still turn a blind eye to these victims of flesh trade? Children are best seen in their homes and not in brothels pacifying psychologically sick men who buy services of children as young as ten! What’s more there is information that small girls as small as eleven years of age are increasingly being injected with a steriod that is generally meant for cows, just so that they develop more mature physical attributes and land more clients! They're locked up for days, starved, beaten, and burned with cigarettes until they learn how to service up to twenty-five clients a day. Some girls go through 'training' before being initiated into prostitution, which can include constant exposure to pornographic films, tutorials in how to 'please' customers, repeated rapes. The procurer-pimp-police network makes the process even smoother. Bought for as little as Rs (Nepalese) 1,000, girls have been known to fetch up to Rs 30,000 in later transactions. Police are paid by brothel owners to ignore the situation. Girls may not leave the brothels until they have repaid their debt, at which time they are sick, with HIV and/or tuberculosis, and often have children of their own. Simply put, all doors close for trafficked women and children who find themselves forced into sexual slavery.

Trafficking is one of the hardest crimes to track and investigate hence data is hard to obtain. A multimillion dollar business which has become a massive organized crime is one of the most lucrative criminal trades, next to arms and drug smuggling undertaken by highly organized criminals. India is a source, destination, and transit country for trafficking for many purposes such as commercial sexual exploitation. There are no national or regional estimates for the number of children trafficked every year. But 40% of prostitutes are children, and there is a growing demand for young girls in the industry. In India Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are considered "high supply zones" for women in prostitution as part of an organized trafficking network.Unless a public opinion is built laws are effectively designed and implemented, the situation is constantly monitored and the nexus of traffickers is exposed, children will continue to be trafficked. Coordinated efforts are required to stop and prevent child trafficking.

On 2nd December, 2012 hundreds living in India’s IT hub, Bangalore thronged to the Holy Trinity Church to take up the torch in the city’s first Anti-Trafficking Vigil. The march began from Trinity Circle in MG road and went all the way up to Cubbon Park to end in a quiet candle ceremony followed by an oath to do all that we can in our capacity to end this cycle of bonded slavery.It was just about to be sun set.Many people said a ‘no’ to trafficking today as they walked solemnly the streets of Bangalore . When your voice merges with hundreds of others , look how loud your voice gets.That’s just how you must view your seemingly small contribution to end this evil against our women and children. I am truly happy to have taken the march too.

There were girls, there were boys, senior citizens, Christian leaders, members of NGOs, musicians, working professionals, just about everyone! I was thrilled to see young girls studying in colleges take the lead in the march. It’s truly empowering to see the younger generation sensitive to the cause. One 14-year old girl volunteer carrying a banner said, “I don’t need to be older to be a part of the march today to raise my voice against human trafficking. It just needs a heart to see what’s happening to children in this country!!” Another 20-year old girl volunteer distributing water bottles to people before the march beamed and said, “ My friends wanted to go for Amir Khan’s movie , Talaash, that has just released but I wanted to come here and do whatever I could, no matter how small, to support the cause to stop trafficking.” Benny Prasad, the most travelled Indian musician (Limca Book of records 2007) was there to lend his support to the cause. Narendra Kumar (25) a management student said, “These people who are forced into sex work and labor are also human beings and the people who traffic them have no right to use them for their own gain.” Rakhi Mathai (30), a social development professional told me, “I had really wanted my two children to be here today and see how the real world is but they had exams tomorrow. Children need to be taught the real problems of our society- trafficking is one of them.” A very disillusioned volunteer, Amit (22) commented, “How is India a developing country I wonder, look around you- how many children are laborers!

Anti-Human Trafficking Network Bangalore which organized the event collected 5,000 signatures on the occasion and the Network is planning to submit a memorandum to the Governor after collecting over 10,000 signatures to demand strengthening the hands of law enforcement authorities to fight human trafficking and spread awareness amongst various sections of society.

Today I met and talked to many people who had come to take the march. The educated from the cosmopolitan city share concerns on the way women and child are being trafficked and their rights to a normal fulfilling life is being denied just because we are not doing anything profound and effective to curb it. There is a great potential in people’s movement to fight this evil. The solution could lie with social action besides the present legislative, executive and judicial measures. I am glad I took an oath today to be able to carry information on trafficking through my social media page and every possible forum, to anyone who wants to listen and anyone who has a heart. Please play your part in whichever way you can. You never know how many are waiting to be freed out there!

By
Urmila Chanam
Journalist, Campaigner and Activist
Voices for Human Rights &
Fellow
Nirmal Bharat Yatra

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Young girls march for a better and safer tomorrow
A ‘no’ today, a ‘no’ tomorrow and a ‘no’ each and every time! Stop human trafficking
We stopped traffic in Bangalore but the message was delivered

Comments

flora1's picture

Urmilla~ Chilling to read

Urmilla~

Chilling to read this tragedy is ignored by so many. With the strength of people like you, we can shine a light so that those who should be ashamed of the complicity can re-think what they are doing and the world can move.

While we type this, our weakest are victimized and we are not powerless.

Thank you for your report.

~flora

Dear Flora,

I so much like your ending words that while we type these words engaging each other in discussion, there are people, hapless and ignorant who are daily being dragged into this pithole.

Let us do something sisters beyond just speaking among ourselves.I invite each one of you whose eyes have drifted to this page to come forward with a plan to make an impact , one that allows every world pulse sister to enact it in her own community.

Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

flora1's picture

Urmila, Your question kept me

Urmila,

Your question kept me awake last night. I came up with one idea and that is that you reach out to news outlets who can better investigate and put the spotlight on the issue. International outlets like CNN and BBC and NPR. They have the resources and have done stories on trafficking. In fact, there is a campaign to end human trafficking:
http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/06/u-n-journalism-can-...

If you have information, definitely send it to them. They are working with the United Nations.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep us posted. I will follow your journey and continue to think of what power I have to Be the Change.

affectionately yours,
~flora

Urmila Chanam's picture

News Channel are not the answers

Dear Flora,

I am most encouraged to hear from you so soon and that you came up with an idea. But at the same time I have a request-I believe victims require privacy and an option most of all, to find an alternate livelihood, and dignity. This would be destroyed when the story goes to news channels. I have my own opinions of news- hungry media wherby each victim is just ANOTHER GREAT STORY!

I am sure we have begun this journey of discussion and attempting to come up with a plan and very soon will arrive at the best!

Stay in touch sister :)

Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

cece's picture

Keeping Moving Forward

thank you for sharing this story. it was very hard to finish reading this but i did. keep sharing and hold marches to get the word out. the only way kids will be kids will be through awareness. You are doing the right thing

Love

Cece

We are blessed to have many Sisters!

Cece

Dear Cece,

Sometimes in my cynical moments I wonder what a march will accompolish that laws have not been able to achieve in stopibg trafficking.Even in those weak and faithless moments thee voice of ny hearts tells me 'Even if not for bringing to book all the culprits, these marches will scream out aloud to them how much we hate them'

love
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

Heidi's picture

Voices rising

Dear Urmila,
I have always had difficulty understanding how human trafficking is such a widespread act of violence, from India to Seattle, it is a sad story for so many women and children. I can only imagine how many silent voices are guilty of facilitating such a horrible trade, from police authorities to brothels. It was inspiring to hear from you that there is something being done to speak out against turning our backs on victims of trafficking. Kudos to you for using your voice, your time, and your heart to do such important work. Thank you,
Heidi

Dear Heidi,

I am most appalled by its global occurence and in my observation, I have never heard of a wealthy or self reliant girl or woman being trafficked or someone who has a sound family support.Poverty, helplessness, directionless and breakdown in the family, vulnerability, illiteracy are all stakeholders.A solution to this crime would have to include all thse in its ambit.

Please share your views w.r.t your country and community.Thanks for yoir kind words sister it feels good.

Love
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

It is most disturbing to hear stories like these. I cannot imagine how an adult see it fit to have have sexual relations with children. What kind of person also kidnap kids and sell them to other people for sex. How can they look at themselves in the mirror. How can they go on daily knowing what they are doing? It is just sick.

Kadeen Dennie
Listener
Pulsewire Magazine
kadeenphd@gmail.com

Urmila Chanam's picture

Who is the end user?

Dear Kadeen,

Thank you sister for your solidarity and I trust this oneness is the one thing that will help uprooting this humiliating trend..In all this it is to be deliberated that the end user is the biggest culprit.As you rightfully mentioned the men who are responsible for the rising demand for children in sex trade and the Indian men fixation on virgins are at the end of this phenomenon.Does our law address this aspect in giving suitable punishment???And who actually takes it to.law when the nexus of pimp.is with the police????

Social action has huge prospects in addressing and stopping trafficking.Let us do it sisters!!!!!!!You know we can!!

love
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

Sangita Thapa's picture

Yes we can!

Dear Urmila,

It's beyond my words to explain this horror that infused my senses while reading about the minors who are forced into flesh business and are injected with steroid. You are so right to say that there is great potential in people’s movement to fight such evil and that we all must do something from our sides. Lets just do it sisters! Yes, united we definitely can!!

Urmila Chanam's picture

People's movement and power in it

Dear Sangita,

I am so encouraged to find women are so receptive to what is happening to women, irrespective of where, in which country it is happening. It only reflects the oneness we have and the will to improve our conditions TOGETHER.

Keep in touch sister and looking forward to more association in future too :)

Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

Hi Urmilla,

I joined recently to pulsewire and read ur article.I thank u for raising this issue.
Its really very frustrating sometime that we are part of this kind of society where all these incidents happen.
But its high time now we all shud stand together againt this issue.
If women can create a man then they can also make then understand that WE arent puppets or showpiece that
anyone can buy us...

With luv n regards
Sarita

sarita sandhu

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

World Pulse Launches our Inaugural Community Advisory Board!

World Pulse Launches our Inaugural Community Advisory Board!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative