On 13 April 2018, Mr. Pravin Ghuge, Chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, inaugurated the new Sanrakshan Kendra- survivor care centre on Friday. The Sanrakshan Kendra has been established by the Women and Child Development Office, Mumbai Suburban, in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM) at the Shaskiye Mulinche Vishesh Punarvasan Kendra in Mankhurd. It will provide holistic and crisis care processes for minor survivors placed at the shelter home through an upgraded infrastructure within the existing shelter home space.

The shelter home in Mankhurd is a special home for minor victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation under the ITPA Act, as well as victims of sexual abuse under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The home has a total capacity of 50 and currently houses 25-30 victims of trafficking and sexual abuse. The shelter home is the first point of intake for the minor victim post rescue, making this crisis center project one of utmost importance. While these services are being provided by the government, the Sanrakshan Kendra now makes it possible for improved impact because of the systematic documentation and reporting in these specific areas.

In collaboration with the District Office, Mumbai Suburban, IJM proposed to renovate and refurbish several different spaces in the Home where newly rescued victims could have direct access to crisis services, health services, and rehabilitation services in order to receive quality standards of care within a given timeline. This “Sanrakshan Kendra” will help provide a consistent quality of rehabilitative care to all victims of sexual abuse and/or exploitation that are under the care and protection of the Home.

IJM sought partnership with a corporate house to fund the costs for infrastructure and provision of appropriate resources at the centre. This financial support has made it possible to refurbish the Medical Room, the Counselling Room and the office space, which is used by the shelter home staff as well as the Child Welfare Committee. The Sanrakshan Kendra- Survivor Care Centre, comes at a time when even the Apex Court is looking into improving the standards of care for child victims of exploitation. On 3 April the Supreme Court ordered the Centre to ensure that individual child care plans are implemented in “letter and spirit”, in an order by the division bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta.

The successful collaboration of the government and private corporate house instates the Sankrakshan Kendra to be accessed by survivors of trafficking within the home under the supervision of the shelter home staff and the Department of Women and Child Development.

“This infrastructure change will ensure the holistic treatment of minor victims of trafficking who come to the home.” Said Mr. Prasad Mirkale, District Officer of Mumbai Suburban. Melissa Walavalkar, Director of Justice Solutions IJM Mumbai believes, “the Sanrakshan Kendra is a necessary step in ensuring that crucial services such as trauma counseling, individual care planning and survivor progress are provided in a timely and systematic manner for all survivors of trafficking.”