Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sanlaap- Speaking of the Unspoken

I had the privilege of visiting Sanlaap with Becky, founder of the Destiny Center where I am currently volunteering. Sanlaap is an Indian feminist NGO, established in 1987. It's focus is to make the world a safe place for girl children and women by protecting their rights. Sanlaap is a developmental organization that works towards correction of social imbalances which present themselves as gender injustice and violence against women and children. The primary work is focused against trafficking of women and children for commerical sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and forced prostitution.
Sanlaap is nestled on the outskirts of a small village outside Kolkata. It is to be a save haven for the young girls recently rescued. Inside the gates topped with broken glass there is a small lake where a black lab swims and wags. When we went we brought Rangita who is Nepali. There were recently 9 girls rescued from a brothel in Kolkata, the youngest being 7. Having no communication abilities Rangita is a blessing and an verbal outlet to the girls. They express their feelings of solitude and depression near suicide and inabilities to adapt.
On a lighter note, many of the women and girls working at the Destiny Center come from the two main shelter homes in Kolkata- Sanlaap and Apne Ape. Today a young woman working at the Destiny Center had Becky sign a referral to move into a hostel- out of the brothel she is living, on her own free will.

Block printing is a way for the girls to create beautiful sari's and bedcovers while generating income.

T-shirt dying for orders from Fair Trade organizations like Emancipation Network

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