Hyderabad: An old red-light area, Mehboob Ki Mehendi, located behind the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was evicted through a court order. Hundreds of women in prostitution were rendered homeless and option less.
Prajwala was born as a small initiative to prevent inter-generational prostitution. First transition centre/learning centre established with 5 children in a vacated brothel at Mehboob Ki Mehendi.
The plea of the mothers (women in prostitution) for an alternative life lead to the first economic empowerment unit in the form of a Plastic Toy making unit.
When the mothers felt more confident and empowered they found the courage to give information about children in prostitution. The first rescue of a minor girl and the consequent rescues lead to the establishment of the first safe home for child victims at Fateh Darwaza.
The impact of the transition centre in the lives of children led the mothers from other areas requesting for similar intervention. Second transition/learning centre set up at Kishanbagh.
The rescue efforts expanded to include adult women who were sex trafficked. The need was felt to set up a separate safe facility as these adult women behaved differently and their needs were different. First Safe Home for Adults set up at Engine Bowli.
The transition centres also expanded. Third Centre set up at Kalapather. Threats and intimidation faced by the Adult Home.
One out three victims was found to be HIV positive. HIV counselling became the need of the hour. On the request of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Prajwala pioneered the setting up of Voluntary Counselling & Testing Centres(VCTC) for Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society. 1500 HIV Counsellors were recruited, trained and deputed to the VCTCs.
The transition centres continued to expand with two more centres at Kishanbagh and Pahadi. As a new innovation in prevention, 11 drop-in centres in red light areas was set up in collaboration with other NGO’s which became learning centres for the children
Children’s Home Shifted to Falaknuma to accommodate more children.
Corporate social partnership was explored to provide employment opportunities for the survivors. The first corporate partner- Amul India Action Research “The Shattered Innocence”, co-authored by Dr. Sunitha Krishnan and Brother Jose Vetticattil, paved the way for an Anti Trafficking Policy (GO MS 01/2003) in Andhra Pradesh and a state-wide campaign targeting adolescent girls.
Prevention programs expanded to sensitization efforts. Anti Trafficking Program set up.
First Crises Counselling Center with Police Department set up at Afzalgunj Police Station.
Docu-fiction “Of Freedom & Fear”/Swecha Kani on HIV/AIDS released.
Need felt to establish an economic unit which was viable and sustainable with non-conventional trades for women. Economic Rehabilitation Unit with printing, welding and carpentry established at Falaknuma.
Public Interest Litigation 56/2004 filed in the Supreme Court for a Victim Protection Protocol.
Landmark ruling in writ petition filed in Delhi High Court 1467/04 to allow video conferencing to record evidence of victims.
Documentary film “Building Bridges” on prevention of second generation prostitution released.
The first documentary on sex trafficking “Anamika-The Nameless” released. Documentary film “Bhagnagar” on sheikh marriages released. Released documentary film “A Chance to Life” on care & support of paediatric HIV Launched Anti Trafficking Resource Cell
Survivors trained as welders built 500 Tsunami shelters in the worst tsunami hit areas of Car Nicobar and South Andaman.
Adult Home shifted to Falaknuma to accommodate more victims.
Documentary films ‘Me&Us’ and ‘Astha-An Ode to Life’ on rehabilitation of adult and child victims released.
Co-Founder Bro Jose Vetticattil died due to massive cardiac arrest at age of 48.
Three new Crises Counselling Centres set up in Gopalapuram Police Station, Tank Bund Outpost and Lake-View Police Station.
6th Transition Centre started at Uddamgadda
Filed Public Interest Litigation 13472/2006 in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on non-implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000
Policy to grant immediate relief to victims accepted by the Government (GO MS 13/2006)
Anti Trafficking Program renamed as Community Based Prevention Program
Launched Aparajitha, a first of its kind survivor movement during National Survivors Conference “Promises Made, Promises Forgotten”
Introduced Masonary training for survivors in collaboration with the National Academy of Construction
Released short film on human trafficking “One Life, No Price” produced with support from UNODC.
Launched nationwide “Movement Against Trafficking” (MAT) with 100 men taking part in a cycle rally
Introduced self-defence for survivors in collaboration with the Crime Investigation Department (CID)
Released animation film on HIV Care “Chigurinche Asha”
Landlord gives ultimatum to vacate both the Shelters located at Falaknuma succumbing to community pressure which was triggered by continous threats and intimidations from traffickers.
The Community Based Prevention Program launches an exclusive intervention with men as stakeholders- “Men Against Demand” (MAD)
A core team with 25 survivors trained in welding constructed 3000 shelters in flood hit region of Rajoli, Mahboobnagar.
Released 2 short films on human trafficking “Needalu” and “Mein Aur Meri Sachayein”
9 more Corporate Companies joined the mission to provide employment opportunities to survivors.
7th transition school started at a critical prostitution hotspot- Yadrigutta.
Launched 200 Girl Child Empowerment Clubs/Balika Sadhikara Sangams in government schools.
Released short film on incest “The Sacred Face”
Policy to ensure minimum standards of care in homes for trafficked victims accepted by the Government (GO MS 16/2010)
Permanent Shelters constructed. Children’s Home & Adult Home shifted to Amangal, Shamshabad district.
The government appointed ‘Prajwala’ as state nodal agency for economic empowerment of survivors (GO MS 27/2011)
The government accepted the policy to provide relief and compensation for minor victims of sex trafficking (GO MS 28/2011)
Groups with vested interest attacked Transition/Learning Centres at Kalapather & Pahadi. The centre at Pahadi closed ascertaining the safety of the mothers.
8th Transition Centre set up at AsadBaba Nagar, 9th Transition Centre set up at Pisal Banda.
“Security Guard” training introduced for survivors in collaboration with Balram Security Service
10th Transition Centre started at Singareni Colony
New intervention “Rape Victim’s Support Program” to support child victims of sex crime launched.
11th Transition Center started at Malakpet.
Filed Public Interest Litigation 37918/2014 in the High Court of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh on government’s apathy towards protective homes.
Released first feature film on sex trafficking “Naa Bangaaru Talli” in 43 theatres across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamilnadu, Karnataka & United States
Launched “#ShameTheRapist” campaign, the first of its kind in the world.
Filed Public Interest Litigation 63/2015 in the High Court of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh on non-implementation of ITPA and need for a “Uniform Rescue Protocol” Filed suo motto Writ Petition (Crl) 3/2105 in the Supreme Court about the rape videos being circulated on ‘WhatsApp’, need for Sex Offenders Register and an anonymous reporting mechanism for citizen’s to report.
Landlord gives ultimatum to shift the Economic Rehabilitation Unit located at Falaknuma.
Launched “Swaraksha” a community awakening caravan to counter trafficking in three states of Telangana, Odisha & Andhra Pradesh
Launched ‘Vikalpa’ a new initiative with Deputy Commissioner of Police Hyderabad North to end street based prostitution by counselling sex buyers and offenders Shifted to new campus at Tukkuguda, which has the Prajwala Base Camp, an Economic Rehabilitation Unit for survivors and a novel initiative-“Emergency Shelter”