During the COVID-19 lockdowns in India, women’s groups played a very pivotal role in taking a number of innovative steps to reduce violence against girls and women. One of the actions they implemented was this: as soon as they heard any suspicious cry coming from any girl or woman, the woman living closest by would let out a loud wail, and gradually, women from the surrounding hamlet would join in the wailing, and finally, women from the entire village would join in this multi-vocal protest. This loud wailing acts as an alarm signal to other group members that someone is in danger and help is urgently required. The police and NISHTHA are immediately called, and in the meantime, the villagers rush to the place of mishap in order to rescue and provide aid to the victims.
At present, only 4 cases have required the intervention of the authorities, while the remaining cases were resolved by women’s group members. In this way, our women’s groups have thus far resolved 12 cases.
Check out this IG Live interview “Omicron’s impact beyond health,” with Manami Das, YGB’s NGO partner, who shared a real threat of the pandemic in this region.
“Child marriage, human trafficking continue to threat the girls and women in the rural villages of West Bengal.”please take a listen to Manami Das, YGB’s NGO partner, who shared a real threat of the pandemic in this region. It is encouraging to learn how YGB’s scholarship girls also continue to be the leaders to campaign against these issues
Throughout the course of the pandemic, the cases of child trafficking saw a tremendous surge as the traffickers could keep a close eye on villages under lockdown. However, our girls and women were very vigilant about it and stood united against it. They took an oath that they would not allow even a single daughter of the soil to go missing. Neither would they allow their fellow sisters to get married by force before the appropriate age of marriage. Last but not least, they will never allow a child to be expelled from their home and village to be engaged in labor.
Learn more about the how COVID has led to a spike in child trafficking in India here: https://theowp.org/how-covid-19-has-lead-to-a-spike-in-indias-child-trafficking/. And, learn more about the dire situation many children are facing – especially during COVID – here: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/06/10/1004883272/indias-covid-orphans-face-trauma-and-trafficking-risks
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Here is a message from YGB Founder Kayoko Mitsumatsu, on how we can help during COVID