Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation - SRF

डॉ. शम्भुनाथ सिंह रिसर्च फाउण्डेशन - एस.आर.एफ.

Because of its peculiar geographical location and social and economic structure, Varanasi is source, transit and destination of both women and children. Because of globalisation, privatisation and liberalisation, cottage industries in the villages are on the verge of closure. This situation is driving the people on the verge of starvation and makes women and children particularly vulnerable to trafficking. The situation is used to the hilt by the traffickers. Along side the traffickers use Varanasi as a transit point to smuggle women and children from Nepal to Delhi and Mumbai, and from Bangladesh and states such as West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar to Delhi and from there to foreign countries, particularly to Gulf countries.

Apart from this, Varanasi is a big business centre for Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Western Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. This leads to continued movement of businessmen and traders in and out of the city. In addition a large number of migrant labourers are also working in the city. To cater to these segments of population, a large number of brothel based and floating sex workers is working in Varanasi.

During the last one year, the organisation has rescued over 100 women and children from the railway station and different part of the city from the clutches of traffickers. Counselling, rehabilitation, medical and legal support facilities have been provided to the rescued women and children. Many of them have been helped to go back to their respective homes. In the same period, Maiti Nepal organisation was studied as mentor organisation in Nepal and a report was presented on cross border trafficking. This activity was supported by Academy of Education Development, which in turn is supported by USAID.

Recently, 31 girls who were rescued from a red light area in Varanasi were given counselling and repatriated to their native places in West Bengal.

Workshops on the issue of trafficking issue are organised from time to time. An international workshop was organised in the years 2006. Voluntary organisations from Nepal and Bangladesh attended this workshop to mull over the steps that can be taken to prevent trafficking.