A shelter home in Nagpur gets a survivor care centre for victims of trafficking

On 25th July 2019, a Sanrakshan Kendra – a survivor care centre for girls and women who are victims of sexual trafficking was inaugurated at the Karuna Shelter Home in Nagpur. The Sanrakshan Kendra has been developed with the permission of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD), by International Justice Mission (IJM).  

Speaking at the event, Chief Guest, Mr. M. D. Borkhade, Divisional Deputy Commissioner, Nagpur, DWCD, expressed, “When victims are brought into the shelter home after rescue, this new crisis care cell will effectively address their physical, emotional and psychological struggles. This is crucial not only for acquiring proper justice for the victims but also because it serves as the foundation for their rehabilitation – which is ultimately the most important thing.”

Mrs. Aparna Khole - District DWCD Officer, Nagpur, Mr. Dhanraj Kale - Principal Secretary, District Legal Services Authority (D.L.S.A.), Mr. Rajiv Thorat - Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Nagpur, Mr. Mustaq Pathan - District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Nagpur, Smt. Sheela S. Mandwekar - Superintendent of the Karuna Home, and other esteemed government officials and NGO partners were present at the inauguration.

The Sanrakshan Kendra is dedicated to the care of adult and child victims of sexual trafficking by ensuring and improving efficiency in three critical areas – timely and correct documentation, quality medical care, and counselling and trauma focused care. 

Therefore, the Sanrakshan Kendra has been developed infrastructurally to provide key services through a standardized process of functions. Infrastructure improvements include a separate administrative office, a well-resourced medical room and a dedicated counselling area. The administrative office is equipped with technology that supports digitization of records and templates for easy and proper documentation. The medical room is stocked with supplies and furnished with required storage, partitions for privacy, beds for examinations and a wash basin. The counselling room is designed to facilitate individual and group therapy sessions. Provisions have also been made for therapeutic resources that can be used to effectively communicate with the victims.

IJM will be providing training to all the Home Staff and Probation Officers in ‘Trauma Informed Care’ to enhance sensitivity towards all the survivors. Save the Children India (STCI) will partner with IJM to maintain and support the services provided through the Sanrakshan Kendra.

Ms. Melissa Walavalkar, Director of Operations, IJM Mumbai, adds, “The primary purpose of the Sanrakshan Kendra is to foster a safe environment for the victims of sexual trafficking, especially by making sure that they have immediate access to a counsellor and medical treatment, and staff who are trained to provide victim-centric, specialized services.”

Mrs. Nandini Thakkar, Save The Children India, congratulated IJM and Karuna Home on the establishment of the Sanrakshan Kendra, saying, “This is truly a great initiative to support survivors with necessary services. STCI is glad to be associated with this project and will continue to work towards protecting the rights of survivors through it.”

At the inauguration, a survivor living at the Karuna Home got emotional as she thanked everyone present, “I am grateful to be in this home which has made me capable enough to be able to speak for myself, educated me, and made me presentable before people. Superintendent Ma'am calls me "beta" (child) and treats me with such kindness. The care we all receive here makes such a difference to our lives. Thank you for thinking of us and making this home an even more beautiful place for all of us."

The DWCD and IJM successfully established the first Sanrakshan Kendra in the Deonar Special Home, Mankhurd, in April 2018 and plan to continue their partnership to create sustainable solutions for the restoration of survivors of the violent crimes of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.