The unapologetic smile: Save The Children India

Young child, beautiful laugh,

Amazed by the world around,

Dreaming of castles and dragons,

And princesses in pretty gowns.

 

Young child, carefree smile,

Lifts her hands to hug goodbye,

Her family leaves her alone to play,

But nobody comes home that day.

 

Young child, working day and night,

Arms adorned by bruises and bandaids,

Made to work when she should be in school,

Her smile has now begun to fade.

 

Young child, meets a boy.

Makes her want to smile again,

Knows all the right things to say,

Convinces her to run away.

 

Young child, new in the city,

Working hard for her new life,

Now dreams of marriage and a family,

Sold off before she can become a wife.

 

Young child, working again.

Selling her body instead of selling pens,

Dirty gazes no longer make her fear,

Her smile has now disappeared.

 

Young child, no longer young.

Red lipstick on, Kohl on her eyes,

Her dreams are shattered, smile has gone,

She is numb under her disguise.

 

Young child, now rescued,

Doesn’t trust, doesn’t talk,

Efforts have all gone in vain,

Nothing makes her want to smile again.

 

Young child, now coping,

Taught the work that she wants to do,

She has started to smile again,

Her life has begun anew.

Save the children India, is an organization working to eradicate all forms of modern slavery in our country. Their initiative to combat human trafficking began in 1996, as a response mechanism for the repatriation and rehabilitation of 122 victims from Nepal in Mumbai. The adopt a holistic approach in four areas through their program, Save our sisters. They work for prevention by addressing the root cause of the problem at rural levels and reducing vulnerability factors such as lack of opportunities, unemployment and gender discrimination, by forming a network of NGO’s as first responders and being key stakeholders in the village panchayats, local schools and, law enforcement. They also work for rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficking victims into vocations of their choices and provide non formal education and therapy at their center Sahas Kendra. In addition to this, they work with government run shelter homes in Mumbai to provide life skills to its inhabitants. They help in sensitizing and training law enforcement to deal with cases of human trafficking by holding capacity building workshops for police, prosecutors and judges in Maharashtra for proper attitudinal orientation, building knowledge and clarifying concepts of trafficking laws and procedures. They have also Formed a State Coordination unit with the Department of Women and Child Development, Maharashtra, for greater co-operation among various stakeholders and institutions.

In all they work to make heard those who have no voice, and to make visible those who were left unseen. They work to repair broken spirits and open wounds, and give back to victims the choices which were stolen from them. They are the living embodiment of the phrase, “A drop of love, may change the world.”

-Aanchal Kabra

To get in touch/work with STCI, click on: http://www.communitycode.co.in/volunteering/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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