Tuesday, December 1, 2009


When two missing complaints were lodged in Koyyalagudem Police Station, Eluru,West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh nobody thought it will unravel a vicious network of traffickers who were luring hundreds of girls from all over the region in the name of jobs and selling them off to different red light areas in Mumbai and Pune.
Illa Anjayya’s daughter and another girl from the same village were promised jobs in a hostel in Hyderabad by one B Sayyama. When there was no news from his daughter for many days and no trace of Sayyamma,Anjayya lodged a missing complaint. In the meantime a relative of the other girl who was also taken reported that both the girls were actually taken to Mumbai and sold there for prostitution for a paltry sum of Rs 45,000/. The alert Inspector (who was trained on Anti Human Trafficking) of Koyyalagudem immediately registered a case. No sooner the case was registered the traffickers released both the girls who came back and related the untold miseries of many other girls from Andhra Pradesh who were enslaved in Mumbai red area. Two of the four traffickers were immediately arrested.
Sensing that a larger racket was involved Eluru range DIG Mr Mahesh Murlidhar Bhagwat,IPS and Mr Balakrishna, SP,West Godavari planned on a larger rescue operation. With the dynamic support of Addl DG Shri Sivanarayan and IG Shri S Umapathi who head the Anti Human Trafficking Unit in the state, Commisioner of Mumbai Shri Sivanandan was contacted who made all arrangements for the rescue operation in Mumbai with the support of IG,Admin Shri Venkateshan and DCP Sanjay Mahiti and DCP Shila Sahil.
Prajwala the nodal anti human trafficking organization for the state was involved right from the planning stages. Rescue Foundation a credible organization in Mumbai was contacted for all local support.
On 25th Nov 2009 a team of 7 police officers lead by Kovvur DSP Janaki Sharmila and supported by CI Rajeev Kumar, SI Srinivas, SI Shivaji, WPC Vijayashree,PC Durga Rao and PC Rafi left for Mumbai armed with search warrants. The AHTU represented by DSP Prakash Jadhav and SI Demulu and Prajwala team of six counselors lead by Ahmed Ali also joined the team in Mumbai.
On 27th Nov 2009 the Andhra team in collaboration with Maharashtra team(both police and NGO) rescued 19 girls from Dayananda Building,Pula St, Mumbai. Five Traffickers were also arrested.
As two girls belonged to West Bengal, Rescue Foundation our Mumbai NGO partner took care of these two girls. The Hon’ble Magistrate Ms Savita Chavan directed Prajwala to take care of further rehabilitation of victims.
Immediately after the rescue Prajwala provided a welcome kit consisting of two pairs of clothes, under garments, towel, blanket, toiletery( sanitary pads,tooth brush, paste, oil,comb etc) and cosmetics such as ponds cold cream/fair and lovely to each victim and arranged for a bus to transport back 17 victims to Andhra Pradesh.
Within 48hrs after being rescued the Dist Collector of West Godavari Ms Vani Prasad released an amount of Rs 10,000/victim as an immediate relief measure and assured the victims all support such as housing, ration card as a part of the rehabilitation package.
Rescue operations involving two states with such large numbers of victim could be only possible due to strong coordination and partnership between all stakeholders police, NGO’s, judiciary and district administration.
Today the victims are in Prajwala Shelter for further rehabilitation. For us in Prajwala, the challenge begins now!


  1. wonderful way to go... after all every human wants purpose to life for...give it in full measure

  2. This is very moving. I cant not even begin to imagine what kind of power and energy you have inside you. I just heard your TED talk and I have to say I am shocked and ashamed for my ignorance. I have decided to be part of your movement by any means necessary. I have already started monthly recurring payment through your donation website and I will look for other areas on your website which needs help.

    Keep up the good work and I know god is with you.

  3. Awesome to see the co-ordination of the powers! YAY to have the real results of girls set free! and as the dust settles the real work begins to being with these young women as they put themselves back together from where they've been rended apart. Thanks for letting us know.

    Deep Respect.


  4. Just heard your talk on TED and came to checkout your blog. Amazing work ..

  5. I viewed your TED Talk video and it is really an eye opener.

    I congratulate you on the tremendous amount of courage that you have to help the women and asking the world to wake up and realize what's happening.

  6. Hi Sunitha,

    At the Nasscom Summit yesterday, I was witness to a few stories narrated by a tiny looking lady who could not reach the microphone on the dias. But that tiny lady has reached such peaks in her endeavour to fight human traffiking, that we all just had to give her a standing ovation. That lady is Sunitha Krishnan. I congratulate and salute you for your courage, optimism, strength to fight such lonely wars; and most of all I salute the proud human being inside you.

    I wish to help out and will try to spread awareness about your efforts to as many people as I can.

    Thanks for some valuable insights.

  7. Dear sunita ji!

    i am so proud of you. i have a question, you are rescuing victims ...its creating vacuum for sex addicts /depraved men, and it may backfire as rise in rape, murder etc.

    I wish that u encourage people to work on female infanticide: to balance male /female ratio,use of strong contraceptive methods(unwanted children end up in prostitution), dowry , women empowerment, encouraging 2nd marriages, and enabling women to decide without any pressure. Also indian mindset of desiring a male child. we need to work on many issues.

  8. Reached your blog from another one where I saw your TED speech. Also saw that you had to pay significant taxes on all the contributions that came in after TED. I would like to contribute, but don't want a single penny to go to our "Netas" pockets as taxes. Do you have some sort of NGO registered with tax exemption so all the money can go to your cause? Please let us know how we can contribute money effectively, among other contributions.

  9. It is so important for all of us not to get emotional but to fight adversity with courage. After seeing your talk at TED and read about you. I have begun to view things differently. Its truly an eye opener..

    I hope there is way for us to help us in your brave fight. We need more people like you in our world.

  10. i take my hat off and bow down to your courage and the tremendous fight you guys are putting up against such an adversity in India.
    Thanks to your website, after a long time I felt that I spent my money right way..

  11. Thank you for posting a story of success, where government officials have worked together to rescue these women. We often hear stories of police or government apathy and systemic corruption which makes the whole situation feel hopeless.

    I want to believe that sex slavery is not only a "woman's issues", but a crime of human rights that must reach the compassion within each of us.

    Sunitha has been a voice and a champion for these victims, but surely there are men and individuals of power and influence that are also willing to take on this battle.

  12. Dear Sunitha,
    I live in Bangalore and I feel very strongly about this issue...strangely women all over the world have been treated as a mere sexual object.... and our civilized society simply see the other way!
    80% women of India who have experienced one or the other form of molestation and unfortunately.
    Let me know how I can be a part of Prajjwala.Do you have any offices in Bangalore?

  13. Rajesh Bothra was born in Mumbai 1968, in Marwari family from a Rajaldesar village in Rajasthan. When he was aged about 16. He decided to quit his further studies, because his ambition was to become an excellent businessman. After quitting his studies he decided to start his business. In Present days his Business is popular by brand name Mercury, which is sold and uses his product Worldwide by common people.