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The Kalinga Fellowship initiative is an evolving and distinctive tri-sector initiative that provides a forum for senior business leaders, governments, civil leaders to come together in a spirit of collaboration to disseminate the incidents of sexual assault and trafficking of girls in Asia. Kalinga Fellowship was created by 3 partner organizations-The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, FXB India Suraksha and Bridge Institute.

The fellowship is a 10-year commitment by its partners to make a breakthrough in thinking and action in combatting gender-based violence.

On April 2017, the first Fellowship was convened in the Indian State of Odisha. It culminated in action to create similar programs to establish ZERO tolerance of sexual abuse on girls across Asia.

In 2018, the second Fellowship was held in Telengana with support from the Telengana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society and Prajwala – a pioneering NGO with its strong footprints on minimizing human trafficking and rehabilitating the victims.

 The focus of Kalinga Fellowship 2019 was to visualize a road map to eradicate the social malaise of human trafficking. Human trafficking, today, is the third-largest organized crime in the world, after arms and drug trafficking.

Kalinga Fellowship 2019 (9-13 December) witnessed participation from SEWA International and UN Women who partnered with the three founder organizations.  The fellowship was attended by over 80 participants of diverse backgrounds from senior police officials to civil society and corporate leaders within  India and transnational. Nearly twenty college students from different states of India and a few survivors of trafficking were also part of the Fellowship.

The Fellows interacted with National Commission for Women, Anti-human trafficking unit, Delhi Police, Traffic analysis hub, Child Welfare Committee, CHILDLINE, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Kat-Katha, Society for the Participatory Integrated Development and organizations working with victims of trafficking and second-generation victims of commercial sexual exploitation, to collectively push forward solutions and strategies on combatting human trafficking. The Fellows also interacted with a technology team at IBM to understand how technology can play a vital role in combatting the trafficking of women and children.

The Fellows proposed significant strategies which included #IAM Campaign – focussing on promoting gender equality and creating awareness on human trafficking, a Railway Rescue Pilot Program – to empower the community and bringing  National Commission of Women, Railway Police Force, Government Railway Police, and the nearby communities to work together for combatting trafficking.

The Kalinga Fellows team sought feedback, fine-tuned their strategies and solutions and presented a national roadmap to end the trafficking of women and children. The roadmap was presented to the National Commission for Women and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights for execution.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Member of Parliament and Founder, KIIT & KISS said, “Empowerment of women should be ingrained at every level of every organization across government, business, and social sector. Only then we will move forward as a country and an economy. My home state Odisha is moving forward with great momentum to ensuring our mothers and daughters participate fully in the highest decision making bodies in state and country. Gender quality is at the core of the philosophy at KIIT and KISS.”

Shyam Parande, Secretary, SEWA International asserted that the menace of human trafficking could be curbed only by providing equal opportunities for learning and employment to women, along with gender sensitization across all age-groups.

“The Kalinga Fellowship 2019 will set forth a solution based road map to combat human trafficking, developed and owned by leaders across civil society, corporate and the government.”, informed Mamta Borgoyary, CEO, FXB India Suraksha.

Jane Sassienie, Director of Development at Bridge and Founding Director of Bridge Institute stated that the fellowship will equip the people who want to change the world with the leadership skills to do so. “Our purpose is to bring extraordinary people together to solve the world’s seemingly impossible problems”, added Simon McKenzie (Mac), Director of Bridge, and co-founders of the Bridge Institute.

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