Monday, May 13, 2013


Brief Note of S.J.Day Event.
1st Anniversary of 'Satyamev Jayate' & Workshop on Human Trafficking marked by Social Interaction & Churning of Realities, attended by Social Workers &  Representatives of Social Institutions-----

         Actor, Director & Producer Aamir Khan sensitized the Indian minds about the social realities through 'Satyamev Jayate' campaign. The first anniversary of this campaign was celebrated on 1st may 2013 in 'Snehalaya', Ahmednagar in a most meaningful way. This celebration was attended by eminent guests of honour. Mr. Aamir Khan himself along with Hon. Mr. Anna Hazare, Social Scientist Dr. Praveen Patkar, M.D of Sakal Media Group Mr. Abhijeet Pawar as well as ‘Satyamev Jayate’s’ founder team members Mrs. Svati & Mr. Satyajit Bhatkal & Mr. Lancy Fernandes were present on the dias. Mrs. Jaya Jogdand & Mr. Naresh Katore are the trustees of Snehalaya who are from the beneficiaries community of Snehalaya were representing the ngo on Dais.   

This event was not organized by 'Snehalaya'  only to show gratitude or to praise the effort it was done with a specific intention to create a 'Social Empowerment' against the important & explosive social issues by organizing interactions between experts, active social workers & representatives of various social institutions working for women & children. Hence a workshop on 'National Calamities & Illegal Trafficking' was organized at 'Snehalaya', Ahmednagar.
           At present States like Gujrat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh have been affected by drought. The Marathwada region in Maharashtra has been traumatized due to water scarcity. This situation which leads to migration creates a conducive environment for illegal trafficking of women & children. This natural & to some extent man made drought situation leads to the highlighting of discussion on water scarcity in the media as well as by the people. But this discussion does not even contain traces about the important problem of migration. Past experiences have shown that the natural calamities like the earthquake in Maharashtra & Gujarat, Tsunami, or the Cyclones in Orissa have lead to the sexual exploitation of women & children by criminal troops. 'Snehalaya' has rescued such victims of Gujarat earthquake from sexploitation and hence they sensed this danger on the background of drought situation.

So this workshop was organized to emphasize the need of preventive & collective solutions through dialogue & co-ordination amongst the social institutions. 165 delegates from 16 states participated in the workshop. The social institutions working on the ground against illegal human trafficking have always felt the need of such a workshop' this reality came into light through the real life experiences which they put forth in the workshop.
                The role of 'Satyamev Jayate' was not restricted to just bring to light the real picture of the society. But it played the important role of providing a common platform to all  the social initiatives and institutions. It also enabled a dialogue among them & tried to give an inspiration to work together with full & substantial understanding of the common issues. 'Sirf hungama khada karma mera maksad nahi, meri koshish haiki yaha surat badlni chahiye' this statement by Aamir Khan has been proved by Aamir & his team by including social institutions like 'Snehalaya' & others in the campaign. All this has been done by Aamir in his unique style without any pretensions in a straightforward manner with utmost humility.
                  This event organized by 'Snehalaya' has been unique in its own way. There was no 'Corporate Sponsorship' for this event. All the female sex workers & 4000 social workers from the Snehalaya Pariwar contributed for the event. The traveling expenses were born by the participants themselves. Only the accommodation & meals expenses were born by 'Snehalaya'. None of the participants complained about petty things like non availability of AC in the scorching heat. None of the eminent speakers including Aamir & his team asked for any participation fees. The whole event was a success due to the sensitivity 7 humanitarian feelings of all the social institutions. 'Satyamev Jayate' has now become a key word & a campaign for the motivation & a guiding light to bring about a universal change in the country. This event has proved that 'Satyamev Jayate' is a campaign which is truly dedicated for understanding & actually acting for the people in distress.

                Mr.Hazare & others have saluted this creative expression which is a result of Aamir Khan’s emotional involvement, patriotism & the unease he felt due to the hard hitting ground realities. This underlines the effectiveness of the campaign rightly named 'Satyamev Jayate'.
          As this workshop was attended by delegates from all over India, the complete programme was conducted in Hindi.
              The opening session of the two day workshop was in context of 'Satyamev Jayate'. An open discussion with Aamir Khan was initiated by Mr. Rajeev Kumar. Mr. Rajeev Kumar who works on a senior post with Wipro at Boston, Struck an intimate chord with Aamir. Aamir revealed the journey of his life & inspiration which he has drawn in his life. The inequality, exploitation, wrong doings, harassment & insensitivity in the society greatly disturb Aamir. He wants to use all his abilities & skills to create a positivity & thus bring about a fundamental change in the society. Recognising his own limitations, Aamir feels the need to change himself. According to Aamir the best way to find a solution to any major & complicated issue lies in the strength of love. These thoughts expressed by Aamir show his close bonding with the Gandhian thoughts.
            Mr. Hazare congratulated Aamir for the production of 'Satyamev Jayate'. Anna Hazare noted that the campaign of 'Satyamev Jayate' has resulted in the introspection & self motivation of the youth all over India. No wonder that in the Delhi Gang Rape case these self motivated youth, started an agitation by taking to the streets. Anna also observed that this inspiration inculcated among the youth by 'Satyamev Jayate' was responsible for the thread of flame of motivation. Anna  presented the 'Scroll Of Honour' titled, 'Mere Sapno ka Sehodhar Aamir', to Aamir written by Anna himself . Anna also felt that both Aamir & Anna himself shared the same vision & thought process, besides this the ultimate objectives of both of these emminent personalities were the same.
View of Media
         Mr. Abhijeet Pawar congratulated Aamir & his team for this innovative show & felt that most of the social issues could be solved by working with the women.This is the reason why 'Sakal Media Group' has decided on a media policy to address social & public issues directly through the 'Tanishka Stree Prathishtha Abhiyaan'. Mrs. Svati & Mr. Satyajeet Bhatkal along with Mr. Fernandes also shared their experiences they got during the making of  'Satyamev Jayate'. Many social workers as well as institutions consistently try to  find solutions to certain issues through their competence & skills. However Their efforts do not always reach the masses. Aamir & his team confidently stated that if all these efforts are united together, constructive & inclusive work based on morality is possible which can win over the destructive tendencies & resulting in positive changes to bring a new ray of hope. Svati,  Satyjit  & Lancy stated that the journey of  'Satyamev Jayate' has made their lives affluent, Positive & hopeful. Dr. Patkar felt that though we cannot expect such programmes like 'Satyamev Jayate' to bring about a revolution, but such programmes surely result in churning of the society. This programme has also helped the people at the grassroots of the society & provided an identity & direction to the institutions that work on social support using innovative working methods. Aamir & his team has played an emulative role in developing a compassionate & neutral outlook towards the exploited.
The 'Snehadhar National Helpline', a 24x7 helpline for providing judicial, medical help as well temporary shelter &protection to the sex ploited women & children  & victims of human trafficking was inaugurated by Aamir Khan. 'Earth', a brand of Terra cota Pottery was also inaugurated by Aamir khan. Mrs. Manjiri Mangesh Kute, a software professional from Banglore quit her well paying job to train these victims in terracotta art as well as look after the marketing of the same. For those who feel helpless because of the exhaustion of the youthful instincts, Manjiri & Mangesh will be a source of inspiration. Three wonderful books were published on this occasion. 'Defying Destinies', is a book which can prove to be a guide for the freedom & rehabilitation of the sex workers. This book includes the detail information about some of the major actions taken by 'Snehalaya'. 'Aamhi Randa' is abook based on the biographies of some prostitutes. 'Anant Amuchi Dheyasakti' includes inspiring biographies of HIV affected Renuka, a victim of child sexual harassment within his own home Sonal & Puja, a girl who was forcefully drawn in the flesh trade. 'Sanvedana Snehalayachi' is a book depicting the formation of Snehalaya & reflects the analysis done by eminent people. A booklet providing an outline of a new course, 'A to Z' community radio course which provides a complete know how for building & running a community radio station was also inaugurated by Aamir ji.

           Sangita Shelar, Suman Pande & Puja Gaikwad shared their poignant true life experiences of the drought & natural calamities which pushed them in the flesh trade. These real life stories proved the relevance of the workshop. The drought situation leads to unemployment, which furthet leads to migration & finally results in sexual exploitation this was the sequence of events put forth by these women. This true story rendering was followed by the key note address by Dr. Praveen Patkar. Dr. Praveen Patkar spoke about the current scenario of flesh trade in India, the sexploitation of the women & children belonging to scheduled castes-adivasis-nomadic tribes- etc due to natural calamities. He also effectively underlined the challenges which are to be faced at various levels by the society-government-judiciary-police-NGO. Many important points for the declaration of the meet came into light by this speech.
           Mr.Pradeep Purandare, a commentator on Marathwada’s drought situation & water scarcity issues discussed the history, causes & possible solutions for the drought situation. Mr. Purandare explained a graph of various causes for migration. Some of the cause’s put forth by him are drought situation leading to extinction of potable water reserves, almost 5 lac cane harvesting labourers from Beed migrating to various parts of Maharashtra in search of labour. Coincidently at the same time almost 27 lac liters of beer & liquor was manufactured by using the water which the govt has sold to the liquor barons from the Jaikwadi dam, the lifeline of Marathwada region. 12 liters water is required for the manufacturing of 1 liter of beer. Apart from this 1million 38lacs quintals of sugar is manufactured in Marathwada region.1904 liters of water is required for the production of 1kg of sugar.A total of 93 TMC water was supplied for sugarcane. Mr. Purandare sighted examples to prove that this tremendous water wastage will lead to migration for potable water which in turn will result in human trafficking.
        Dr. Abhilasha kumari representimg 'Aapne aap world wide', Delhi, an NGO working to prevent human trafficking in Uttar Pradesh, Shrimati M. Sumitra representing 'Ankuram', an NGO working for the same cause in Andhra Pradesh, Ms. Jyoti Pathania, who works for the rehabilitation of child victims of sexual exploitation in Pune district &  Chetana Sinha-Gala, who  founded the 'Mandeshi bank' to prevent migration from the drought affected Mandesh also expressed their views regarding the subject of the workshop. They also shared their experiences & suggested certain solutions to the subject. Other eminent personalities who participated in the conversation were Priti Patkar, founder 'Prerana', Sister Lucy, founder 'Maher', Ujwala Lawate, founder 'Manavya'.

To Awaken Blunt Feelings
Mr Indrejeet Deshmukh, founder 'Shivam Pratishthan', addressed the concluding session. He said, “Environmentalist, Al Gore has predicted the extinction of human species due to environmental changes. The Indian people & politicians are only thinking about those problems. None of them want to be are aware of the ground realities. All their feelings have become either blunt or dormant. The need of the hour is to awaken their spirits by putting forth some hard hitting facts. The problem of migration & human trafficking due to drought needs to be addressed in a different way. Some permanent solutions have to be found. It is the need of the hour that the original teachings of Mahatma Gandhi regarding the reorganization of the rural scenario should be implemented once again.
       Mr. Niloba Jadhav felt the need that the Government should keep a biometric record of the migrating children. Pressurizing the Govt. to chalk out a proper action plan for the reestablishment of the rural population in their original habitat should be done time & again till it bear fruitful results.
      Adv . Shyam Asawa said that, Migrating & Human trafficking is directly dependant on the ‘Soil Smuggling’ activities done on a large scale from river beds. Security groups at the rural level should be established to pressurize the Govt to take lawful action against these 'Soil Smuggling' activities.

A resolution was passed and an action plan was finalised in the concluding session.All the social institutions & workers passed a resolution to end child sexual exploitation in India. 'Minor Free Brothels' was the first important resolution that was passed unanimously by all the delegates attending the workshop. The necessary training & guidance for the above resolution will be imparted by 'Snehalaya'.In order to mark the silver jubilee of 'Snehalaya', in the year 2013-14, a big chunk of its social workers will dedicate their their services for this cause of 'Minor free Brothels'. More than 300 different suggestions on various subjects were given. It is understood from past experiences that attending to too many subjects doesn't give desired results. The formation of a security armour for the victims of human trafficking by providing them temporary shelter & rehabilitating them in various residential institutions, forming youth help groups& 'Minor Free Brothels' were the points included in the resolution. The drought situation in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya pradesh is leading to the migration & illegal human trafficking of women & children. Hence the Govt. should provide a temporary shelter to the children similar to the cattle camps. The social institutions should form 'Special Social security Groups' to keep a record of the migrating families. Similarly 'Special Social Security Groups' should survey the red light areas to rescue the minor girls & women who are the victims of sexual exploitation due to drought & migration. Such cases of sexual exploitation if found should be immediately reported to 'Snehadhar National Helpline'. Dr. Girish Kulkarni put forth various methods to take a regular follow up of the work so that the resolutions are accepted by the government as well as by the society. All the attending delegates unanimously supported the stand taken by 'Snehalaya'.
       The survey reports prepared by Mr. Rambabu Bhat, Rajasthan, Mr. Dhananjay Lambe,journalist from Marathwada & 15 others were distributed in the workshop. These reports underlined the seriousness of the situation.Many of the delegates shared the experiences of 'Children Camps' provided by social institutions. These experiences supported the resolution of providing 'Children Shelter camps' by the govt.
        Thus this National Workshop paid an important role in providing a proper programme to the social institutions as well as it put up a good effort to draw attention towards the migration & human trafficking on the background of the drought situations in some parts of India.

Anna Hazare & Amir Khan Inaugurating Program

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