Shakti Vahini through its Anti Trafficking and Justice Project has formed vigilance Groups across North Bengal to prevent Human Trafficking by Involving the Community.
The Initiative is strengthening the Village Level Child Protection Committees (VLCPC) and ensuring citizens involvement in Preventing Human Trafficking. Vigilance Groups which are being formed across various Tea Estates in North Bengal Districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri and are being involved to keep a watch on the movement of Traffickers and also spreading awareness in the village on the dangers of Human Trafficking.
These vigilance groups have been taking initiative to disseminate the anti trafficking information among the villagers through pamphlets, folders, meeting, street plays.
The need felt was because of increased trafficking from the region and also because of the geographical position of the region as it has international borders with Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. It is the need of the hour to empower the community people to prevent this organized crime.
One of the Group leader of the Village Groups said, “Human Trafficking in the name of labour, prostitution and forced marriage is a serious problem in our society. It is a good platform to discuss things together and we all have to organize to fight this organized crime. The gap between the police and the community need to be reduced by implementing community policing programme in the villages. We ensure that the anti trafficking messages, its precaution and various help line numbers will be disseminated among the community people through the vigilance group.”
“The age old child marriage system which is rampant in north Bengal and one of the most important reasons for trafficking for young girls is being prevented with the help of the Kanyashree scheme. The sensitization programmes with the community mothers to protect their young daughter from the trafficking net has created a major impact in the society. The women in the society are coming out to sensitize the adolescent girls on child trafficking issues.” Mr. Banerjee added.