My Choices Foundation
We at ‘My Choices Foundation’ have been aggressively working on spreading awareness leading to prevention of human trafficking. My Choices Foundation is a Hyderabad-based non-governmental organisation dedicated to ending violence, abuse, and exploitation against women and girls in India. We address two of the most prevalent and difficult forms of abuse: domestic violence and trafficking of young girls for sexual exploitation.
Our work is carried out through two major initiatives:
- Operation PeaceMaker (OPM), which addresses domestic violence cases in the state of Telangana; and
- Operation Red Alert (ORA), which focuses on the prevention of sex trafficking in high-risk states.
We are playing a major role in the prevention of sexual exploitation of women and girls in India, and we aim to galvanize a coalition effort “to end large-scale sex trafficking by 2025.” We are currently active in West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. According to the Global Slavery Index, India is home to over 18 million modern slaves, of which approximately 80% are sex slaves. Historically, only 1% of these victims have ever been rescued. Even now, of every 100 people, 51.35 are vulnerable to modern slavery. This is why we are focused on preventing women and girls from ever entering the sex-trade in the first place.
ORA has developed a three-pillar preventive approach, which includes: India’s first National Helpline to address sex trafficking; the Safe Village Program, a grassroots education initiative and a related awareness campaign; and a national mass media campaign to educate the general Indian public. We are building a strong coalition of NGOs, training them to effectively deliver and implement our grassroots prevention strategy in their regions.
We launched the Safe Village Program (SVP) and National Red Alert Helpline in October 2015. Since then, we have educated more than 220 villages, equipping 300,000 people across 4 trafficking-prone states. Our national anti-sex trafficking helpline (the first of its kind in India) has received more than 1,400 calls since the launch. More than 100,000 copies of our research-backed anti-trafficking toolkit, which caters to all levels of literacy, have been distributed to stakeholders in “at-risk villages.” Over 500 cases of trafficking, child abuse and domestic violence were reported to our Area Coordinators during these programs. We are working aggressively to cover maximum areas in four states of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. Our aim is to cover as many “at-risk villages” as possible throughout the country. Our goal is to be effective (timely intervention) in raising awareness about trafficking and saving our girls from falling prey to sex trafficking.