About Preventing Dalit Girls Entering Sex Slavery
India’s Joginis are dedicated to a goddess when they are still young children, sold for sex when they reach puberty, and condemned to a lifetime of ritualised prostitution. Dedications are illegal, but it still goes on. Almost all Joginis are Dalits. Nine out of every ten are following in their mother’s footsteps.
Prevention through education and care
Our Pratigya Children’s Shelter in the state of Telengana is a specialised facility designed to prevent Dalit children becoming Joginis. The children’s shelter provides daughters of Joginis with a safe and healthy place to live, a nutritious diet, access to quality education, and most importantly a loving and caring environment. This not only removes them from extreme vulnerability and poverty in their home village, but provides them with skills and knowledge to make a living so that they will not be forced into ritual sex slavery.
Girls are only admitted to the programme with the full and willing consent of their mothers.They have access to private tutors, healthcare, social workers and mental health evaluation.They are tutored in the English language to enable them to enrol in an English medium school: English is the key to better jobs, education and opportunities in India, and is often denied to Dalits.
The shelter is currently located in rented accommodation providing places for over 40 children. Two full-time wardens provide 24-hour care, and are supported by a cook who lives in the shelter. In addition at least 5 other tutors and social workers are available daily to assist the children in their studies and personal development.
The children’s shelter is managed and staffed by Indian nationals, and run by our partners, Pratigya India.
Making a Promise
Pratigya is a Hindi word meaning ‘promise’. Our promise is to do all we can to protect these Dalit children. You can make a promise to support our work.
Thank you for being part of this exciting initiative, helping us make us make a real difference in these girls’ lives as we bring them freedom, hope and justice.