Apart from the emergency interventions our main array of programs focus on various aspects of human development, eco-friendly schemes and rural development. We are also fighting against human and child trafficking and other gender crimes. We promote community based rehabilitation of trafficking survivors and try to develop new strategies for intervention. Since our the area of our interventions is vast it is not possible to summarize in the short introduction. Let's have a look.
Survivors Leadership Programme :
BandhanMukti, a collective of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation or sex trafficking has been a great resource for the programme. The collaborative journey with BandhanMukti began in 2011 . The collective which has more than 500 members has emerged as a platform for survivors not only to fight for justice but also to fight stigma at family and community level. This programme strengthens survivors’ leadership by identifying potential survivors, training them, supporting survivor led actions being change agents.
1. Survivor Leaders from BandhanMukti collaborated with District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), South 24 Parganas for activation of lawyers for handling of compensation cases and handling of cases against traffickers. The collective effort fetched results:
● The DLSA secretary has facilitated availability of lawyers for both victim compensation and prosecution cases separately for all Survivors.
●The survivors and the concerned authorities have regular dialogues.
● The survivors have been asked to do state level consultation with SLSA for fast disbursement process of compensation. DLSA said they passed the order but the next process must come from SLSA.
● There would be monthly/bi-monthly meetings between Bandhanmukti and DLSA Secretary for case updates and whether they are getting the required benefits or not.
2. The survivors' leaders are becoming an essential force in reforming government policies. GGBK is thrilled to announce, the recommendations by the leaders of the Indian Leadership Forum Against Trafficking have been mentioned in the 𝟮𝟯𝟬𝘁𝗵 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗻 '𝗔𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗔𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻' by the 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐇𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐀𝐟𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐬.Leadership Next:
BandhanMukti, survivors' collective dreams for anti-trafficking ecosystem which will be led by survivors of trafficking and the society would be free from trafficking and various kinds of violence, sexual exploitation, gender discrimination, stigma and other social evils. The survivors’ voice will be amplified from the ground to national and international level from changing the laws and policies for conviction of the traffickers, rehabilitation rights of the survivor and mainstreaming in their respective community.
The community volunteers – neighbours and community members from the survivors’ villages and blocks. In many cases they are influential people in their locality. The volunteers are from- different blocks of South 24 Parganas.
Their Job- To support the survivors of human trafficking against stigma and discrimination at community level, in accessing services through communications with the local Panchayat and interact with government duty-bearers as and when necessary and to reach out survivors in regular basis to balance the social workers work load as GGBK has very limited human resource.
Watch Group Monitoring: A monitoring tool was implemented with the watch group members to know about the activities they have done to help in community partnership.
Kaarya is a programme that helps survivors of human trafficking and sexual violence build their own capacity to develop and manage micro-businesses and lead a life with self respect, dignity. When survivors of sex trafficking, trauma and stigma are supported with financial aid, training and facilitation, they can build and manage micro businesses independently and this helps them challenge stigma in the community, become role models for other victims in their communities and fight abuse at home, community and stakeholders.
Utthan is a leadership building initiative for the trafficked survivors focusing on capacity building, resilience building, recovery and empowerment through collectivization of survivors and peer support groups.Caring Connections is a programme to ensure effective physical and physical and psychological recovery and health services. Strengthen the capacities of social workers at grass-roots community-based organizations (CBOs) to implement rights-based and survivor-centric rehabilitation and recovery programs.
Tafteesh started in 2013 as an action research programme in collaboration with Kamonohashi Project and Sanjog to study effectiveness and responsiveness of law and criminal justice system in addressing the issue of impunity of traffickers at source areas. Each trafficker that goes unpunished enlists more traffickers in the villages and each of them traffic more girls. The study found weak inter-state coordination enabled traffickers to enjoy impunity, while survivors of trafficking often faced poverty, stigma, and family violence after they return home, impeding their ability to recover and reintegrate. Now the programmme focuses on strengthening National laws and policies on human trafficking by highlighting gaps in the current criminal justice and welfare system and strengthening survivor and community system in claiming rights and entitlements to protection, reparation, recovery and systemic rehabilitation.
Swayangsiddha is an initiative started with West Bengal Police in the year of 2016, to combat Human Trafficking, Child Marriage, encourage youth led action. In the year 2018 the programme evolved and further strategized in collaboration with GGBK with comprehensive approach, supporting the survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence with alternative options for community based rehabilitation including mental and physical health interventions, critical health care services including medicines and counseling, trauma based care and livelihood options for survivors of human trafficking for their mainstreaming and reintegration at their community back.
Lack of livelihood employment opportunity is one of the big risks and need for the community especially who are at marginalized coastal and hilly parts of the region. Over the years GGBK has organized different training programmes as per the needs, aspiration, opportunity and aptitude. Arranged and facilitated trainings on tailoring, computer, wool netting and carpentry to the vulnerable women, young youth and the survivors of gender-based violence for their income generation and livelihood. GGBK has provided livelihood support to vulnerable women, survivors of Human Trafficking for economic independence. More than 6000 people are supported by GGBK as alternative option to lead a life with safety and dignity
1. Mental Health has become a priority programming area for GGBK. Experience has shown that despite livelihood support, due to mental health issues the survivors would make such decisions which had devastating consequences. Such cases have reaffirmed GGBK’s belief that rehabilitation will only be successful if the survivor is mentally and emotionally healthy. Mental and Physical Health assistance and interventions are also of special focus GGBK. In the post Covid and Amphan situation more than 65 Health camps are organized by GGBK to support community people in need.
2. For the especially able persons GGBK organized camps and distributed materials to support them in their struggle. GGBK organized identification Camp in 2013, 2014. Under CSR program including with ONGC, ALIMCO, GGBK has distributed necessary aids like tricycle double hand driven, wheel chair folding adult, elbow crutches small, elbow crutches large, axilla crutches small, axilla crutches medium, axilla crutches large, walking stick, folding cane for vh (blind stick), b.t.e. hearing aid (digital), 6 pack Zink air batteries towards 1431 persons with disabilities.
GGBK has been providing development opportunities to the rural poor community for three decades now. Starting the work in one village in 1985, the organization is directly or indirectly supporting over 50 villages in Canning- 1, Canning – 2, Basanti, Gosaba, Kultali, Joynagar-1, Joynagar- 2, Mgrahat, Baruipur, Sonarpur, Bhangar, Mandirbazar, Sandeshkhali-1, Sandeshkhali- 2, Mathurapur, Raydighi, Pathorprotima blocks.
Over 90 percent of the families do not have latrines and there are villages with not a single tube well. They drink open pond water, where they take bath, wash clothes and utensils, animals relax!
Not even 50 percent of the people have access to safe water. Of the existing tube wells, over 60 percent are sunk by GGBK. Women, who bear the burden in such cases, have to walk over 30-40 minutes to fetch water. Helped by children and siblings, one can find long lines in front of the only tube well or frail children carrying water on their fragile shoulders. Dysentery, Gastroenteritis, Typhoid, scabies, conjunctivitis, malaria, filarial, dengue fever, worms etc. are regularly found and treated. The only option that GGBK presently has is to distribute water purification tablets, ORS etc. through the women’s groups. Children are the worst sufferers in the entire process.
The project was not only aimed at providing direct relief to the families in the project area to avail safe drinking water, but also is a logical extension to the community development work being currently undertaken by GGBK. With support from other projects, people have already been made well aware of Hygiene and sanitation practices and the proposed project will provide them with safe water to make their lives healthy and sound.
The project, with support from HIF will ensure a long way in providing all round development to the target people, with particular solution to their health and hygiene related issues.
Through this project GGBK supported 9,400 families and over 30,000 persons from 8 villages, which were in immediate need of drinking water facilities and latrines. The project is located in Basanti and Canning – I Block, District South 24 Parganas, West Bengal State.Non-formal education center
GGBK has been addressing the issue of education to the children for past two decades. GGBK was running 26 non formal schools in the region. Although the schools are not in proper physical condition, but there is no dearth of commitment and dedication on the part of its teachers. Many of the schools are in shambles under broken roof and wall less rooms. Still the students and parents are to happy to send their children to the centers organized by GGBK.Prevention of Human Trafficking, reaching out to the vulnerable families & Child protection
Prevention of trafficking in children, adolescent and efficient coordination system between NGOs in source and destination points and collaborative work with concerned government departments on rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked victims. Apart from this coordination system between NGOs in source and destination points on prosecution of interstate traffickers and safe migration with 35 partners with Groupe Development.
Economic Changes - Rural development aims at finding the ways to improve the rural lives with participation of the rural people themselves so as to meet the required need of the rural area. As such, general people themselves have to participate in their sustainable rural development. The people are taking part for alternative livelihood options such as nutritional gardening awareness cams. Mainly the women participation is noticeable. They are taking part in the meetings to overcome from saline water problem and mono crop cultivation system for safety of their crops. Also, they are sharing their opinion and interest on alternative livelihood such as Zori Work/ Dhadda, incense factory.
Ecological Changes - The biggest issue facing the use of chemical fertilizers is groundwater contamination. Nitrogen fertilizers break down into nitrates and travel easily through the soil. Because it is water-soluble and can remain in groundwater for decades, the addition of more nitrogen over the years has an accumulative effect. The fertility of soil is decreasing. Villagers are quite aware about the fact so they need to be aware and mobilized to use organic farming and willing to use vermeil composed. Uses of plastics is higher in now a day than before, affecting the drainage systems as well as rain water could not reach in deep of the ground level as per the village concern.
Social Changes - GGBK has taken the initiative to Combat human trafficking of children & women and mainstreaming the vulnerable in Sunderbans since January -2016. Villager’s participatory movements noticed after conducting few awareness camps regarding the core issues of the project such as trafficking, disaster mitigation, livelihood. Accepting participation of trafficked survivors in the village meetings. Facilitating us to get village information’s through Participatory Variability Assessment Tools. They are now more vocal than the first meeting and did not hesitate to share their social economic problems to us.
Political Changes – Villagers showing their interest to know more about the three tier Panchayati Raj System which is a rural local self-government in India linking the village to district. They are quite aware that the solution of their problems only could not be solved unless they meet and discuss them and bring their decision into force. In order to make the life of the village happy, people belongings to that place should take part in the activity.It does not end there...
GGBK has also faciliated:
Formation of Watch Action Group, DMTF
Participatory Vulnerability Assessment Tools
Organize Community Sensitization & Mobilization programme
Develop draft policies
Disaster Management Task Force (DMTF), analysis