ECONOMIC REHABILITATION

A key aspect for any survivor in terms of preparedness for social reintegration is the employability factor. After a period of stay in the shelter, when the resident is discharged from the home she needs to be confident about her employability potential. This is the most dangerous grey area in all anti-trafficking programs, given that victims who feel they are unemployable in any sector are much more vulnerable to being re-trafficked. Hence it is necessary to select the kind of livelihood training based on interest and aptitude by assessing the victim as well as market viability of the trade.

Our Employability Training Unit is responsible for identifying need-based, aptitude based, market assessed, viable & sustainable economic options for survivors, which is critical for long term rehabilitation. As this group is specially stigmatized and traumatized, the scope of social reintegration is poor. Any intervention for family based trades may not be suitable. Therefore the options provided should be able to sustain the survivor’s life independently without dependence for basic sustenance. Effort is hence taken to do a thorough market study before adopting any particular trade or employment option, and only those livelihood options are chosen which is viable in the job market.

A potential of the victim that is effectively tapped at Prajwala is her extraordinary inner strength and lack of awkwardness in a male-dominated trade. It has been observed that survivors excel in trades that are non-conventional and mostly from male bastion. Livelihood training opportunities in cab driving, security guard, masonry, etc. and other occupations with great demand in the job market are considered non-conventional for women but in truth are most suitable for survivors. Therefore, if a resident has an aptitude to become an entrepreneur, training in management of micro-enterprises has great market potential and is provided to her.

Opportunities are given for working in Prajwala Enterprises as well as other corporate and professional environments. Emphasis is made on helping victims secure modern forms of job opportunities, including self-employment and small business ventures to ensure mainstream reintegration. Depending on the aptitude, health and legal status of survivors, the trades available for on-the-job training included welding/fabrication, screen printing, lamination, carpentry and book-binding.  Appropriate institutional partnerships have also been formed, such as governmental agencies and corporations to train victims in sustainable livelihood skills that would increase their economic viability and employability. 

Prajwala’s efforts to reduce the number of women re-trafficked through economic rehabilitation have yielded many successful results:

    • Over the years, 628 victims of sex trafficking have been trained in Prajwala Enterprises and 147 have been taken on payroll.
    • Since 2012, a total of 319 orders have been completed in record time in the manufacturing unit while maintaining utmost quality and ensuring customer satisfaction.
    • In 2012, 44 survivors were trained as security guards and were placed in 44 Kasturba Ghandi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) schools throughout 20 districts in Andhra Pradesh.