Jabala Action Research Organisation

Context: Extreme poverty and unsustainable economic conditions in India, make young girls prone to trafficking; and even after survivors are released by NGOs and law enforcers, about 60% of them are re-trafficked. This results in a lack of access to education, lifetime of stigma if they have been engaged in sex work, and difficulty in getting employed.  According to a 2006 Government of India study, Murshidabad is a “backward district” with the lowest human development indices in the country. More than 60% are in the poverty line, less than half of women are literate, 67% of the girls are engaged in child marriage, and child labour. Jabala recognizes that young women who have been trafficked, need basic literacy and concrete marketable skills to escape poverty and exploitation, and economic development for their families is a key prevention strategy. 

Organization: Jabala intends to provide meaningful livelihood options to survivors of gender and social violence, HIV positive and other vulnerable women from low income families who have been or are at risk of being trafficked into sex work.  Their main focus areas are addressing the root causes of trafficking and social violence (which are hidden in social, political, religious, legal and geographic factors) as well as young women’s employability skills in order to lead a self-reliant life, free from social stigma. The work will mainly focus on the district of Murshidabad, bordering Bangladesh which is considered to be the ‘backward district’ of West Bengal and in the city of Kolkata, where many of the girls are placed into their new careers.

Current Grant: EMpower’s 5th grant to Jabala is their first negotiated general support grant. In this grant, Jabala will focus on 2 programmatic components. The first is to create meaningful livelihoods options for 150 survivors of gender based & social violence. They will also provide holistic education work-readiness training to 75 adolescent Girls including survivors between ages 11-17. Finally, they will appoint a dedicated fund raiser who will solicit funds from institutions, individuals & corporations regularly.  In addition, this person will be active in social networking sites and work on the future sustainability of the organisation.

India Contact: Baitali Ganguly jabalaactionresearch@yahoo.com Website: http://www.jabala.org Year Established: 1992