RANCHI, 28 FEBRUARY 2018: On 27 and 28 February, to support survivors of trafficking and abuse, the Jharkhand State Child Protection Society and Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC) organised a regional conference called, ‘Let Me Speak’ in the city.
Justice and Care’s survivors were invited to share their stories at the event that focused on giving a voice to victims of human trafficking. Brave survivors of trafficking from the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and New Delhi were also given an opportunity to interact and support each other at the event.
The objective of this conference was to help victims of trafficking by building a leadership quality in them and empowering them to politically raise their voice to combat human trafficking. This also provided an opportunity to strengthen networks – both for survivors and for government stakeholders.
One of our survivors, Nisha* was spontaneously invited by the programme coordinator to share her story of trafficking and rehabilitation – just 15 minutes before the event. While most people battle with the fear of stage fright, Nisha brushed away her fear, stood tall and told everyone gathered about what had happened to her.
Two hundred people sat teary-eyed as Nisha spoke about how she was trafficked from a small village in North India to a big city where she was held captive in a place that she wasn’t allowed to leave. She further described how it felt to be rescued, and especially how it felt to be back with her family after more than a year. Nisha ended her story with a smile as she spoke about how happy she is now to be safe and how glad she is to have the Justice and Care team looking after her.
A post-lunch group session was conducted with topics related to the rehabilitation of survivors were discussed. As the session progressed, survivors participated and expressed their needs and expectations from their family, the government and their society. They spoke about the social stigma they face, the ignorance with which children are sent to work and then trafficked and the problems that have faced with government authorities.
The evening ended with a special cultural programme by the survivors. It was wonderful to see our girls who used to struggle to overcome their trauma, dancing and singing joyfully.