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Providing a shelter for young trafficked women and girls in Kalimpong, NE India


The Problem

Kalimpong is in NE India close to the border with Nepal, Bhutan and China and on a through corridor between these countries

A Needs Assessment (NA) was carried out by Kalimpong Rotary and NE India Churches with local communities and their leaders in recent years. This established there were many vulnerable people in the various communities, unemployed without a sustainable income, and many of the women and children were targets for human trafficking. This in turn leading to the trafficked persons becoming HIV/Aids positive
Those rescued from trafficking were often rejected by their families and needed shelter and self relient skills so they could survive and get back into the community

Recent reports on trafficking in The Calcutta Telegraph state

“The number of people missing in N Bengal has increased many times in the last 10 years, many going into prostitution, slavery or marriage”
“Three missing cases in N Bengal in 2001 increased to 1089 in 2010 -These figures are the tip of the iceberg”
“Bengal’s Blot – In 2012 there were 8,000 missing girls in Bengal”
“Traffickers can get $1000 for each girl telling them they will get a job in the city”

Addressing Community needs

Following the Needs Assessment,  Kalimpong Rotary in conjunction with the NE India Churches established the Sadhu Singh Project with the following objectives

  • Creating Awareness and sensitising the community in trafficking & HIV/Aids
  • Creating a Vocational Training Centre (Phase 1) for those vulnerable in the community
  • Creating a Shelter Home for women and young girls (Phase 2)

Context

A TRF supported $69,000 Vocational Training Centre project (Phase 1), was completed in early 2016. See report on the Opening Ceremony in RAGASnews 70. Once recruiting staff for security & training together with programme of awareness to identify trainees is completed the VTC will become operational during this year. Phase 2 will involve a Shelter Home for trafficked women and children built on top of the VTC. Fund raising has started and a number of Rotary Clubs and individuals have already committed funds.

The integrated two story building will function as both a training centre and shelter home for those vulnerable in the community and those rescued from trafficking

Further information and project updates

Contact Robin Hamilton, Rotary Club of Dunbar, D1020, Scotland. Tel: +441368860931 Email: robinham23@gmail.com  or Dr. Miku Foning, Rotary Club of Kalimpong, D3240, India. msfoning@rediffmail.com