Guria News Update September 2013

Message from the Guria Team Last December the heinous Delhi gang rape received international attention and there has since been a rise in media coverage and widespread protests against rape and violence towards women. Ajeet Singh sees the positive side and comments “People are raising their voices as one against such issues”. However he adds “one incident has evoked such strong reactions. I have so many cases involving minors that are crying out for justice.” This is why Guria exists, to support and achieve justice for the many women and children whose horrific stories will never reach the news. We would like to thank all our supporters helping Guria to achieve its aims and hope you enjoy this brief update on our work and events so far this year. Women's Day Celebration International Women’s day is a day of political and social awareness for women’s rights and one which recognises respect and equality for women all over the world. The United Nations theme for this year was ‘A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.’ The day was celebrated at the Guria Non-formal education (NFE) centre in Shivadspur, Varanasi. Guria hosted festivities which included 112 children of the NFE centre and their mothers from the red light area. The festivities came to an end with Bollywood dancing and sweets for the kids.
Ajeet with kids at the centre

Colourful celebrations! Holi, the Festival of Colours, was celebrated at the Guria NFE centre in Shivadspur, Varanasi. 95 children at the centre were armed with bags full of gulal (colored powder). The excited kids spent the day throwing, sprinkling and spraying color all over each other. The festivities continued until there was not a recognisable child to be found. Special Indian sweets, langleta and soan papdi, were served and fun was had by all.

Non formal education Guria’s non-formal education (NFE) centres continued to provide a safe place for children to play and learn. These centres are based in areas where children are vulnerable, such as red light districts or those where there is a risk of ‘sex-tourism’. Children were enabled to attend mainstream schools and helped with homework as well as encouraged to play and be creative. Highlights Guria take a holistic approach recognising that this is the only solution to a complex, horrific and entrenched problem. Key highlights of Guria’s legal work, campaigning and awareness raising so far this year include:        34 new cases and 33 new paralegal cases were filed against Human traffickers/brothel keepers/pimps 7 convictions were successfully achieved The bail of 12 human traffickers/brothel keepers/pimps was rejected; this is vital as legal cases typically continue for years, so with bail a perpetrator could be free to continue abusing and intimidating victims. 5 trafficked children were rescued Post rescue support was given to 12 victims 750 people from 16 villages were involved in community meetings and consultation 5 sensitisation meetings were held with Community Based Organizations and other stake holders which gathered over 11,000 participants.

Sensitisation meeting on prevention of human trafficking with over 10,000 women, Aug 2013

Sakina’s story Sakina, who lives in Varanasi, was 14 years old when she was kidnapped by traffickers. The gang took her to a brothel in nearby Choubeypur, where she was repeatedly raped and forced to work as a prostitute. Sakina’s mother, desperate to find her daughter, managed to trace the exact location of the brothel by herself. She then immediately went to the police. The police responded by being abusive, and refused to help, sending her away from the station with nothing. Her mother sent an application to the district higher authorities to which there was no action other than police attempting to force Sakinas family to merely compromise with the traffickers. Sakina’s mother heard about and contacted Guria to get help. Guria applied pressure to the local police and administration finally forcing them to register a complaint at the police station. Following this the traffickers were arrested and Sakina was rescued by Guria staff and police. When appearing in court, amazingly the traffickers attempted to take away Sakina once again which was averted through Guria’s presence. Guria continue to provide all round support to Sakina and her family. The journey in re-building her life has only just begun. Volunteering with Guria   Guria received over 40 postcards from the fundraising concert at Princeton University last December. Postcards were sold to students who wrote a short message to children at Guria’s NFE centres. Previous interns at Guria are making a documentary titled ‘Specks of Dust’, being filmed this summer. The film will document Guria’s battle against child prostitution and will tell the stories of victims of trafficking. For more info see: http://specksofdustfilm.com/ Watch this space for more Guria events to be held in the UK and the US! "My time at Guria was the best time of my life.” (Azza Cohen, Guria India Volunteer) Your support The Guria team would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters! Guria are a frontline charity dedicated to protecting vulnerable woman and children, which leaves little time to raise attention for Guria’s work. Not only funding, but international friendships and recognition are important to Guria. Your support in being aware, spreading the word or raising funds is important. If you have ideas for awareness raising or fundraising, such as sponsored events, please contact Sarah Wraight (Guria UK).
For more information see: Guira India Website Guria Facebook page Guria UK Website Guria Blogspot

Contact UK: sarahwraight@guria-uk.org Contact India: guria.freedomnow@gmail.com Online donations: http://www.guria-uk.