A Practical Approach Towards Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. Victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is an enormous criminal industry that denies freedom to thousands of people in the country.Group exercise on practices followed while dealing with vicitm of human traffickng

‘Protection and Safety’ (P&S) has been among the core domains of the four pillared integrated approach for grassroots intervention. Preventing and reducing child abuse, gender based violence and HT through proactive and response mechanism constitute the specifics under the P&S domain. It is well known that the police and armed forces comprise an extremely important stakeholder groups in combating the menace of human trafficking and child sexual abuse.

FXBIS has entered into an MoU with the Madhya Pradesh Police and the MP Police Academy to conduct trainings for their forces on human trafficking and child protection. FXBIS will soon be carrying out sensitisation workshops under the ‘Suraksha Sustainable Learning Programme’ in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.Training of newly recruited contables at police training academy Meerut,UP

FXBIS has been conducting similar trainings to effectively combat human trafficking for the police and paramilitary forces in states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur (Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh) since 2018, with support from the British High Commission. The main objective of these trainings was to enable proactive and efficient law enforcement responses and intervention to combat human trafficking. The provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 along with The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 were discussed.

This project was implemented for around 9 months; 638 Police officials including paramilitary forces (Assam Rifles) were trained in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Manipur. The training programmes received appreciation from participants as well as Senior officials. Pre-Post Tests were conducted during the training programme which helped in accessing the training programme. A difference in the knowledge around the issue especially on relevant laws could be assessed through the Pre-Post Tests. The reports highly recommend for the need of continued support and training of the ground level officials for strengthening mechanisms at the ground and leading to effective investigations and responses in order to break the organized crime.

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Recognising potential red flags and knowing the indicators of human trafficking is a key step in identifying more victims and helping them find the assistance they need.The effectiveness of the training sessions can be measured by the fact that the FXBIS team is regularly contacted by  police officials who were part of the training programs across the three states for suggestions in effective interventions in handling cases of human trafficking especially in terms of handling cases of children. Also, we are regularly receiving requests from the senior officials for more such training programmes for law enforcement agencies.

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Home-makers to Entrepreneurs

“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”
– Jawaharlal Nehru

Today, women are becoming self-aware and command their needs to achieve their highest potential, be recognized, acknowledged, rewarded and respected. The policy and institutional framework for developing entrepreneurial skills, providing vocational education and training has widened the horizon for economic empowerment of women. However, women constitute only a small percentage of the economic enterprises and the data falls quite below when rural entrepreneurs are taken into consideration. Development cannot take place unless the people at the grassroots level are not involved in the development programmes.

This underlined the need for entrepreneurship development programmes for women to enable them to start their own small-scale enterprises.

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The uneducated women entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas, still do not have access to technical and financial support that can give a boost to their businesses from a domestic self-consuming scale to a profit-making commercial level. Given that, the vast majority of FXBIS’ activities emphasize on the economic empowerment of women and increased access to economic resources, FXBIS has implemented ‘Holistic Rural Development Programme’ remote sparsely accessible in 3 villages of Darrang District. About 217 SHG women of 20 SHGs have been engaged in various economic activities promoted by the project. 45 fish ponds, engaging 177 women from 16 SHGs and 20 women farmers from a farmer club were offered comprehensive support for improved collective scientific fish farming. 6 SHGs and 1 farmer’s club from Dahinagoan village and 10 SHGs from Dipila were engaged in improved pisciculture promotion programme. The activity is designed to engage SHG women, provide training on improved methods, support for renovation/reclamation of the water bodies, followed by adoption of scientific pisciculture activities. Post development of ponds, the management is given to the local SHGs. All these 45 ponds have been taken over by a total of 177 beneficiaries under collective farming method. Above 300 women benefited through SHG strengthening, about 177 women benefited through pisciculture and 40 women benefited through goat farming.

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The hidden entrepreneurial potential of women has gradually been changing with the growing sensivity to the role and economic status in the society. It means women have the potential, skill, knowledge and adaptability to run a business successfully. Poverty and unemployment are the major problems of any developing country, to which India is no exception, and we all are well aware that the growth rate of women employment in India is still very low. Since women constitute nearly half of the total world population, they must therefore be regarded as an equally respected half of the society. FXBIS’ efforts since 2007 have been to catalyse this transformation – to assist women to gain respect in their social fabric, to gain respectable employment and to empower them to sustain their families to live a life of dignity. Towards this endeavour FXBIS co-creates, connects and converges with diverse stakeholders to help the “…forgotten people of forgotten places.” [Albina du Boisrouvray, FXB founder and President Emerita]

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Solace Amidst the Agrarian Crisis

India is a country built on the sweat and toil of its farmers. The range and expanse of agricultural produce are exhaustingly vast, and agriculture, to date, remains the mainstay of the Indian economy. It is not an exaggeration to call farmers the backbone of the nation.

 

FXBIS beneficiary small & marginalised farmers in high-yielding SRI cultivation, Kamrup (Assam)

Assam is one amongst many states in India, which is fundamentally based on agriculture. Over 70 percent of the state’s population rely on agriculture as farmers, as agricultural laborers, or both for their livelihood. Agricultural markets in Assam are under-developed. Geographical isolation, weak transportation and communication systems, poor marketing facilities, poor or non-existent market intelligence (e.g., information on price and place to sell) are some of the principal factors deterring farmers from earning a reasonable income. While most of the brokers/buyers have access to modern communication facilities such as telephone and regular and timely market reports, farmers in Assam are many years away from having such facilities to gauge the market and sell accordingly.ARC - DarrangTo aid farmers through such problems, FXBIS’ team in the three remote villages – Dipila, Dahinagoan and Khataniapara, namely, of Darrang district in Assam built farmer support groups with the name ‘Farmer Clubs’. FXBIS gathered a group of small and marginal farmers (with shared interest in agriculture) from the same village and motivated them on benefits of collective business. FXBIS has formed 6 farmers’ clubs with 120 farmers (i.e. 20 farmers in each club) as members in 3 villages through execution of ‘Association of Persons’ agreement among the farmers. The main objective of these clubs is to improve the methods and returns on current farming practices and connect them with government schemes for their benefit.

FXBIS has facilitated trainings for the members to give them exposure to new farming methods, tools, crop varieties, online marketing and government schemes. In addition, FXBIS has developed a very productive partnership with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) – an in-house ICAR programme aimed at promoting best practises amongst small and marginal farmers. The KVKs were approached for leveraging benefits for farmers of these farmer clubs. In collaboration with FXBIS, KVK Mangaldoi initiated seed cluster demonstration programme in 7.5 bigha land in the Kathaniapara.a

To aid in the advancement of agriculture and provide opportunity to the farmers to meet, learn and access agricultural tools and equipment within the village, FXBIS has created a facility called AGRICULTURE RESOURCE CENTREs (ARCs) in all 3 project villages. The ARCs serve as a common platform for farmers to share their experiences, learn from one another, interact with officials from departments of agriculture, animal husbandry, the KVK. The ARCs are in the process of digitised (2 ARCs have already been converted to digital ARCs), so that the farmers in these remote locations get updated on the prevailing market prices.

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India’s soul resides in her villages and agriculture still sustains most of our rural populace. The least we can do as a country is to give the farmers what is rightfully theirs and not let their agitations go unnoticed. The interventions in Darrang are a humble contribution from FXBIS to catalyse farmers’ wheel of progress, especially for the marginal farmers. FXBIS’ philosophy to co-create (with communities), connect (the communities with benefit schemes) and converge (bringing the State and NGOs together for a mindful purpose) has borne fruit in the 3 villages of the district. Similar programmes are being run in another district – Kamrup in Assam, and Ri-bhoi district in Meghalaya.