Work with Bedia Community : A Holistic Approach

Prevention of Human Trafficking and rehabilitation and reintegration of commercial sexual exploitated women and children of Bedia community

Samvedna is working with Bedia Community which is engaged traditionally for generations in community based prostitution. There is high tendency of pushing children into prostitution soon after attaining puberty, resulting into their commercial sexual exploitation. Education of children is a challenge as boys tend to live on the earnings of their mother and sisters, and girls are aware of only two options-marriage or prostitution. In either choices education does not help them much.

Samvedna is is working on rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors and prevention of potential victims from being trafficked through advocacy and providing alternate opportunites.

OUR APPROACH

Samvedna works on the unique model of holistic community development approach, where all the sections of the community are involved. The projects include advocacy, vocational training, opening small social-entrepreneurship initiatives, self-help initiatives and educational opportunities for children. The way this approach helps us combat the modern-day slavery is revolutionary and surprisingly effective.


WHAT WE DO

We work with villages where the source of the problem is. Presently we are working in four bedia villages where commercial sexual exploitation of women and children is rampant.


Work with youth

In the initial phase of our intervention, we have informal discussions and meetings with youth of different villages to develop better understanding of their issues and concerns. The emerging issues and work plans are:

  • To aware the youth about commercial sexual exploitation that impacts their community; especially women and children.
  • To address the issues with livelihood and economic security.
  • To kindle a sense of responsibility in them and deal with the issues of dignity.
  • To help them explore and tap their innate capacities, creativities and talent.

Vocational training activities

This initiative is very crucial as vocational training has to be linked very closely to availability of economically viable means of livelihood and shall also match their interests. Bedia youth are mostly unemployed and dependent on sisters’ or mothers’ income from prostitution.

Training is important for both youth and the women who are no longer into prostitution. Samvedna started the following initiatives with the help of participative groups:

  • A workshop to train women for the production of Jute Accessories, Conference Bags, Wall Hangings, Pot Hangings etc. which linked to a fixed income – in November2012.
  • Dona making (disposable Cups and Plates made out of paper) – in October 2012.

Advocating for people's citizens' rights:

The villages where Bedia community lives are stigmatized and neglected. The reach of State services and resources are limited. Some of the villages, where Samvedna intervenes have no safe drinking water, no proper infrastructure and the government policies have failed to make tangible impact. Samvedna has been engaged in following attempts:

Samvedna 's activity has been to:

  • Mobilizing the community to aware them about their rights and demanding the restoration of their rights by approaching concerned government authorities
  • Organizing village level meetings to plan a road map for village development. The road to the village Salai went into construction from this January, which is seen as a big achievement of Samvedna.
  • We bring district / block/ panchayat authorities to visit the villages to make a need assessment and hear people’s voice.