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Rajendra’s story

October. 31, 2017 / Blog The Freedom Fund / @freedom_fund

Rajendra* and his wife were living at a railway station with their two small children in a village in Bihar, northern India. Because the family had no income, they resorted to begging for money at the railway station.

One day, Rajendra’s 8-year-old daughter was kidnapped by a trafficker, who took the girl away on a motorbike. Community members who had witnessed the event reported it to the local police station. Armed with this information, the police successfully rescued Rajendra’s daughter, and brought her and the trafficker to the police station.

Following the liberation, the Superintendent of Police contacted the local coordinator and the legal adviser of Freedom Fund partner Tatvasi Samaj Nyas (TSN), requesting them to come to the police station to assist. After hearing more about the incident, a legal report was lodged and the accused trafficker was arrested and sent to jail.

TSN seeks to build a society free from human trafficking through the rescue, long-term rehabilitation, and reintegration of survivors. The organisation provides direct legal services to survivors of bonded labour and sex trafficking and also manages a shelter for liberated girls and women. The Freedom Fund is supporting TSN’s work in Bihar to prevent trafficking and minimise the re-victimisation of at-risk children, youth and women, as well as promote awareness of unsafe migration in vulnerable communities.

Once Rajendra’s daughter’s case was presented to the Child Welfare Committee, she was transitioned to the TSN shelter home and was later supported to return home. While at the shelter, Rajendra’s daughter received education and vocational training and was eventually enrolled in school once she returned home.

TSN staff members continued to work on the case against the trafficker, which in February 2017 resulted in a five-year sentence. Additionally, the organisation assisted Rajendra’s daughter to claim benefits under the Victims Compensation Scheme. The TSN team is also linking Rajendra’s family with other government schemes to improve their livelihood.

The Freedom Fund’s Northern India Hotspot aims to reduce trafficking, bonded labour and harmful child labour in two of India’s poorest states. Working with frontline organisations, we help communities build resistance to trafficking and slavery and reintegrate individuals coming out of situations of exploitation. Find out more about the Freedom Fund’s Northern India Hotspot.