Freedom From Desolation

Jabala Action Research Organisation, India

Shreya Mehta on July 3, 2018 in Women Empowerment

In order to understand the motivation for the evolution of the NGO Jabala Action Research Organisation, one needs to just go through the following lines,

“I am Jabala – I’ve stepped out from the myths to be here and now. Here is my child Satyakam with no father to recognize him. It is not my child’s fault, nor is it mine. You demand that he be known as his father’s child. I dare every conscious soul to help my child wake up to the light of truth…

Jabala Action Research Organisation is a non-profit human rights organisation. It was founded as a result of the participation of Ms. Baitali Ganguly & Ms. Kusum Gupta in a survey. While working on the situational analysis of AIDS, they observed that the children of commercial sex workers were in great distress.

Taking note of the situation at hand and the predicament of these children, they realised that instant action had to be taken. The organisation started work in 1992 with 150 children from the Bowbazar Red Light area. Their sole the aim was to provide education, health facilities to these children so as to socially bring them into the mainstream and thus prevent any kind of abuse.

Since most of the children were unaware of their biological fathers, hence it was decided to name the organisation ‘Jabala’ (a mythological unwed mother) and the projects as ‘Satyakam’ (the son of Jabala).

As a result of their persistent efforts in Kalighat and Barrackpore red light areas and Pearabagan and Kalabagan slums, they were being able to prevent the second-generation prostitution of girls and boys from becoming small scale crooks in these areas.

Today they work in almost 9 districts of West Bengal which include North and South 24 Parganas, Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Birbhum and Murshidabad. They focus all activities and campaigns on the issues of human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, child marriage, child abuse and migration.

Satyakam program of the organisation seeks to empower these children in difficult situations and provide them basic facilities like education, health services, counselling and therapy. The Sabla program works with girls aged 11-18. Their educational, nutritional and vocational needs are catered in this project. Information is also provided to all these girls about hygiene, public services, family welfare and health.

They also run Swadhar Shelter Home where all the girls and women rescued are given shelter. Former female prisoners without any support or family, widows are also given shelter here. Food, medical treatment, counselling, trauma management and education is provided. A Crisis Intervention Centre is also run by the organisation for those who are restored and re-established. Those who are not, are allowed to continue to live in the shelter.

Over the years, Jabala realised that there was a need to involve all the victims and residents of the shelter in some kind of activity, so as to enhance their confidence. They decided to introduce football as an active sport played at the Shelter.

They recognised that along with enhancement in their confidence, there was also a reawakening of their inner strength that encouraged them to stand up for themselves and their rights. The initiative was named Football For Freedom. Today, football is rejoiced and played with great zeal by all the children.

Apart from this, the NGO also conducts research and documentation work in the area. This is done so as to understand and map the risk behaviours of the children in red light areas, the influx of children in trafficking from red light areas, rates of abuse of children and their migration correlation.

In partnership with various schools, panchayats, government organisation, Jabala’s initiatives look to address the root causes of violence and trafficking that are influenced by various religious, economic, social and geographical factors. By providing employability skills and training, they try to revive every girl, to make her self-reliant and stigma free.

The Jabala Action Research Organisation has rehabilitated and restored more than 872 girls, out of which 345 of them have been provided with livelihood options. With the help of their prevention program they have reached over 1500 girls across 3780 villages in West Bengal.

To read more about the inspirational work they are doing, visit Jabala Action Research Organisation today!

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