Challenge

An estimated 16 million women are victims of sex trafficking in India. Unfortunately, only 7% of them are ever rescued.

When a woman is rescued from sex trafficking, often families refuse to accept them back because of social stigma and the fear of being shunned by society. There are women who are abandoned by their loved ones and are living in despair for years. Some families refuse to even acknowledge the existence of their daughter and sever all ties with her.

Inspiration

During Durga Puja, one of the largest festivals in the world, people welcome home the Goddess Durga like a daughter. But, they refuse to accept their own daughters home because of social stigma and patriarchy.

After being rescued from human trafficking, a girl’s trauma becomes uglier when she is abandoned by her own family. This unjust social practice affects millions of women and happens every day.

The Lost Daughters activation is an attempt to raise awareness about this issue to help more daughters come back home with dignity.

Idea

Durga Puja, one of the largest festivals in the world, welcomes home the Goddess Durga like a daughter.

Countless pavilion-like structures called ‘pandals’ are constructed with the Durga idol and devotees visit these pandals (pavilions) to worship and shower love on the idol.

But this year, a pandal without the Durga idol was created.

The Lost Daughters used this pandal (pavilion) without the idol to remind of the hypocrisy that welcomes the Goddess like the daughter but abandons daughters who were rescued from human trafficking.

The venue then became a neutral ground for a reunion, where daughters came face to face with their families.

Growth

The empty pandal immediately garnered attention and became a talking point across social media platforms.

In just three months, Sanlaap has successfully reunited 12 happy daughters with their parents.

Sanlaap continues to raise awareness around this issue with regular conferences and awareness drives. The NGO has partnered with other organizations and imminent personalities to encourage families to fight the social stigma that stops them from accepting their own daughter home.

Idea Board

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