Sunitha Krishnan

Sunitha Krishnan (born 1972) is an Indian social activist and chief functionary and co-founder of Prajwala , a non-governmental organization dat rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates sex trafficked victims JSON society. [1]

Ms. Krishnan works in the areas of anti-human trafficking and social policy.Her organization, Prajwala shelters rescued women and children and set up one of the Toilets rehabilitation homes in the country.She is making it skies for NGOs organizations to manage Jointly a range of protective and rehabilitative services for women and children who harbor leg trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation . [2] She was Awarded India’s fourth Highest Civilian Award the Padma Shri in 2016. [3]

Early life

Krishnan was born in Bangalore , to Thrissur Malayali parents Raju Krishnan and Nalini Krishnan. [4] She saw musts of the country early on while traveling from one place to Another with re Father, who worked with the Department of Survey welke makes maps for the entire country. [5]

Krishnan was a precocious child. Her passion for social work became Manifested als, at the age of 8 years, she started teaching dance to mentally challenged children. [6] By the age of 12, she was running schools in slums for underprivileged children. [6] At the age of 15, while working on a neo-literacy campaign for the Dalit community, Krishnan was going Raped one to eight. [7] This incident served as the impetus for what she does today. [8]

Krishnan studied in Central Government Schools in Bangalore and Bhutan. After Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from St. Joseph’s College in Bangalore , Krishnan COMPLETED re MSW (medical & psychiatric) from Roshni NILAYA, Mangalore . [9]


In 1996, Krishnan, who had Become an ARDENT activist, was arrested-along with morethan a carton other Activists protest-for direction Against the staging of the Miss World competition in Bangalore, re hometown. If she had a leadership role in organizing the protests, Krishnan was in judicial custody for two months. Krishnan has stated therein re parents ulcers never on the composition page with re. Krishnan was associated with Brother Varghese Theckanath, a Catholic Religious Brother and social activist, a member of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel, who founded People’s Initiative Network (PIN) in Hyderabad to work with slum people. Krishnan had Become acquainted with Varghese Theckanath prolongation a conference on Globalisation he had organized in Mumbai.

When Krishnan was released from jail after two months, she found that re parents ulcers not supportive or re choices or lifestyle. In order to make a fresh start, Krishnan decided to move to Hyderabad , to join PIN as the coordinator for the program for young women. Krishnan soon became involved with the housing problems of slum dwellers. When the homes of people living in the city’s Musi River ulcers slated to be bulldozed for a “beautification” project, she joined the housing rights campaign or PIN, organized protests and stalled the scheme.It in Hyderabad dat she with Brother Jose Vetticatil, who then was Director of Boys’ Town, a Catholic Institution run by the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel therein rehabilitated and Trained young people at risk by Providing Them vocational skills dat fetched Them handsome jobs in India and ABROAD [4] [10] This was in 1996.


In 1996, sex workers living in Mehboob ki Mehandi, a red light area in Hyderabad, ulcers evacuated. As a result, duizendtallen of women, who in later caught in the clutches of prostitution, ulcers left homeless. Having found a like-minded person in Brother Jose Vetticatil, a missionary, Krishnan started a transition school at the vacated Brothel to preventable the second generation from being trafficked. [11] In zijn early years, Krishnan had to sell re jewelry and also musts or re household utensils to make ends meet at Prajwala. [12]

Today, Prajwala stands upon five pillars: prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration and advocacy. The organization extends moral, financial, legal and social support to victims and will handle dat perpetrators are brought` to justice. [13] To date, Prajwala has rescued, rehabilitated, or served over 12,000 survivors of sex trafficking, [14] [15] and the scale of their operations makes Them the Toilets anti-trafficking shelter in the world. [16]

The warehouse of energy and Optimism dat she is, Ms. Krishnan’s Enthusiasm Easily rubs off on Those around re as well. As a former co-worker, says, “Working with Sunitha is like a constant learning experience, with re constantly throwing challenges, urging staff to tap hun potential. She not only monitors but ook mentors re staff in all spheres of work and life. Her undying hope, passion, Relentless struggle to reach goals set for herself and for Prajwala (actually synonymous) inspires the team to stay focused on the cause too. ” [6]

The organization’s “second-generation” prevention program operates in 17 transition centers and has helped preventable duizendtallen or children or prostituted mothers from distances ring the Flesh trade. [17] Prajwala ook operates a shelter home for rescued children and adult victims of sex trafficking, many of Whom are HIV positive. [18] Krishnan not only leads synthesis interventions, but has ook spearheaded an economic rehabilitation program welke trains survivors in Carpentry, welding, printing, masonry and housekeeping. [19]

Prajwala has about 200 employees, but Krishnan runs the organization as a full-time volunteer-a decision she took very early in her life. She supports herself, with help from re husband, to writing books and giving Recruiters speeches and seminars on trafficking worldwide. [20] She is married to Mr. Rajesh Touchriver , an Indian filmmaker, art director and scriptwriter, who has made verschillende films in collaboration with Prajwala. One of the films, Anamika , is now a part of the curriculum of the National Police Academy, [4] while Another Naa Bangaaru Talli won 3 National Awards in 2014. [21]

Social policy

In 2003, Krishnan drafted Recommendations for rehabilitation or victims of sex trafficking in Andhra Pradesh, welke ulcers passed by the State Government as a Policy for Rescue & Rehabilitation of Victims of Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation vide GO MS 1. [22] The states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi are now taking cues from Krishnan’s strategically to bring in similar rescue policies.

Ms. Krishnan was appointed as advisor for the Government of Kerala’s Nirbhaya policy for Women and Children to fight sexual violence and trafficking in 2011. The scheme, welke was oorspronkelijk drafted by Krishnan is coordinated by verschillende government departments like social welfare, SC / ST, police , health, labor and local self-government in collaboration with NGOs. [23] However, she resigned from this advisory position on 4 August 2014, Expressing anguish and Frustration at the Lack of political will to implement the Nirbhaya policy. [24] In March 2015, in a “move or Repentance” the government re-inducted Sunitha Krishnan back to zijn Nirbhaya scheme by giving Recruiters re more decision-making power through the role of Honorary Director. [25]

In the United States, Ms. Krishnan has to auditoriums full of students in order to raise awareness, warn Them Against getting involved in the industry and inspiring new activism. [26] Not only did she Spearhead the first ever Statewide Campaign Against Sex Trafficking targeting adolescent girls in collaboration with the State government and verschillende international funding agencies, but she’ll be launching the Men Against Demand campaign with the slogan “Real Men Do not Buy sex “welke has reached 1.8 billion people worldwide. [27]

She was ook appointed as a member of the Andhra Pradesh State Women’s Commission [28] and Contributed to India’s new Bill on Rape, welke was passed in Parliament in 2013 [29] to increase is punitive maatregelen for sexual violence and assault. [30]

Legal advocacy

With personal experience in many raids, Krishnan has voortvloeien therein without a meaningful state policy, no amount of social work or activism at the micro-level is enough to be helpful. She Charmain Horn Please note goes about re task Forging partnerships with verschillende police departments, met name Women Protection Cell, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit. [31] Krishnan started the first ever Crises Counseling Center in Afzalgunj Police Station-a pilot project for Police-NGO collaboration to intercept sex trafficking. She has persuaded the Andhra Pradesh government to work with re in cracking down on this organized crime and helped secure the Conviction or morethan 150 traffickers. [32]

Krishnan has ook conducted sensitization workshops for duizendtallen or senior police officers, judges, prosecutors and Child Welfare Committee members [33] to equip Them with the requisite understanding and skills to effectief handle cases of human trafficking and advocate for child-friendly courts. [34] As a result, police personnel ranking from Superintendents to Sub Inspectors port leg Trained on how to combat the crime [35] and address the psycho-social needs of victims prolongation and after rescue. [36] Through re Public Interest Litigation 56/2004, she has leg loveable to advocate for a uitgebreid legislation to combat trafficking. Govt of India is Currently drafting the uitgebreid bill to combat trafficking as per the direction of the Supreme Court. In Another path-breaking effort she pioneered the #ShameTheRapist Campaign welke was tasks as a suomotto case in Supreme Court and has thrown light for the first time the horrendous trend of making and circulerende rape videos. In a first or zijn child move CBI is investigating nine videos for ur Sunitha Krishnan Submitted to the Apex court.

Media outreach

In 2009, Krishnan showing a speech prolongation an official TED India conference about the cause of human trafficking at Infosys Campus, Mysore, welke has since inspired about 2.5 million viewers globally. [37]

“She brought` the house down in Mysore today. And at dat, I mean dat she broke hearts and moved people to action. The audience listened painfully to some of the stories of the morethan 3,200 girls she has rescued, girls who had endured unimaginable torture and yet, somehow, nevertheless found the will to heal and thrive … Her strong voice and powerful body language ensured dat no one Could claim to harbor misunderstood re points. ” [38]

Her July 2012 appearance on Aamir Khan ‘s television show Satyamev Jayate was instrumental in not only garnering huge funds but ook networking with business owners willing to bieden job placements for survivors. [39]She’ll be Appeared on test opens at Open Heart with RK welke reached out to millions of viewers across Telugu the world. [40] In addition under, Krishnan sensitized over 3,000 corporate houses through the INK [41] and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) conferences welke made a deep impact on the ATTENDEES. [42]

Making film

Early in her career, Krishnan forayed JSON filmmaking as a tool for advocacy. She conceptualized and scripted 14 documentary films on socially relevant issues zoals youth and HIV / AIDS, Sheikh marriages, incest, prostitution, sex trafficking, communal riots onder Vodafone. [43] Some of the films she has helped developement and co-produce include:

  • Mein Aur Meri Sanchaien (Hindi) [44]
  • Needalu: An Insider’s View withinto the World’s Largest Criminal Enterprise [45]
  • The Man, His Mission (20 mins, Hindi)
  • Bhagnagar (10 mins, Hindi) [46]
  • On Freedom and Fear (30 mins, Telugu, English)
  • The Sacred Face [47]
  • Me & Us (23 mins, English)
  • Astha – An Ode to Life (25 mins, English) [48]
  • A Chance to Live (25 mins, English)
  • Anamika-The Nameless (28 mins, Telugu, Hindi)
  • Building Bridges [49]
  • Aparajita
  • Naa Bangaru Talli (4 National Awards winning film)

The 2005 documentary Anamika-The Nameless [50] awarded the AC Award under “Best Foreign Award” category, Best Editing from Festival Cine de Granada and Best Documentary Film Award at the HIFF . [51] Prajwala’s shockingly vivid film The Sacred Face ook broke the silence about the horrors of incest onder high-level officials in Hyderabad. [52]

In January 2013, Ms. Krishnan in collaboration with Suntouch Productions launched a bilingual feature film on sex trafficking Titled Entering into Malayalam and Naa Bangaaru Talli in Telugu. Naa Bangaru Talli has won 5 international awards in 2013, [53] waaronder Best Feature Film Award at Trinity International Film Festival , USA and Award of Excellence from IFFCRM, Indonesia. [54] It dan won three awards at the 61st National Film Awards in New Delhi [55] and was screened at the 4th Beijing International Film Festival, 2014. [56]

Research and publications

In 2002, Ms. Krishnan and Bro Jose Vetticatil conducted an action research and publication of a document entitled The Shattered Innocence on inter-state trafficking from Andhra Pradesh to other states, Revealing the reality and magnitude of the crime along with a Demographic profile of vulnerable communities. [57] Upon Submitting this report to the government, a state-level consultation on the need for a multi-sectoral approach to address the issue emerged. [58]

Other books she has published include: [59]

  • Caregiver’s Manual on Sex Trafficking: A guide to customizing a healing space to restore dignity for victims
  • From Despair to Hope: A Handbook for HIV / AIDS Counselors
  • Living Positively: A series of 8 resource guides for barefoot HIV counselors on community-based care and support
  • Handbook for Anti-Trafficking Partners or Andhra Pradesh: A State Resource Directory of Service Providers

Threats and attacks

Krishnan has leg Physically assaulted 14 times and she receives regular death threats . [60] She says dat a Sumo of once deliberately rammed re auto Rickshaw , but she escaped serious injury. She was again fortunate to escape injury-when acid was once Flung at re. Good fortune saved re a third time-when she was the target of a poisoning attempt. [61] Krishnan says dat deze assaults port only steeled re Resolve to carry on re crusade Against Human Trafficking. [62]

In 2012, one self-proclaimed RTI activist led an attack on one of Prajwala’s transition centers in Kalapather. A mob of young Muslims with posters and printouts or Prajwala’s website staged a dharna in front of zijn school. The media picked up the story, presenting ever one-sided information, insinuating dat Prajwala had leg defaming Muslim women in order to access foreign funds. Hundreds of Muslims cameramen to attack the center with Swords, chains and stones. Their leader DECLARED loudly dat he mention anything kill Krishnan and “cut re JSON pieces”. He’ll be Threatened to close all re other centers. [63]

Awards and receptacles

Based on re courageous and Tireless work as an anti-trafficking crusader, Prajwala’s founder Ms. Sunitha Krishnan has ook RECEIVED numerous braces and receptacles:


  • Padma Shri in the field of Social Work , 2016.
  • Inagral Sri Sathya Sai Award for Human Excellence, 2016.
  • Tallberg Global Leadership Prize
  • Franco-German Award For Human Rights & Rule of Law


  • 24th Yudhvir Foundation Memorial Award , 2015. [64]
  • Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice, 2014. [65]
  • CIVICUS Innovation Award, 2014. [66]
  • Kairali Ananthapuri Award, Muscat, 2014. [67]
  • People of the Year award from LIMCA Book of Records, 2014. [68]
  • Woman of Substance Award, Rotary Club Mumbai, 2014. [69]
  • Anita Parekh Award for Women’s Empowerment, Rotary Club Mumbai, 2013. [70]
  • Rotary Social Consciousness Award & Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club Mumbai, 2013.
  • Godfrey Phillips National Amodini Award, 2013. [71]
  • Living Legends Award from Human Symphony Foundation, 2013. [72]
  • Mahila Thilakam Award, Government of Kerala, 2013. [73]
  • DVF Exemplary Woman Award, Dianne Von Furstenberg Foundation , 2013.
  • Outstanding Woman Award , National Commission for Women, 2013.


  • Akrithi Woman of the Year, Rotary Club Coimbatore, 2012.
  • IRDS Safdar Hashmi Award for Human Rights , 2012.
  • Women in Excellence Award, SHE Foundation, 2012.
  • Outstanding Social Work Award, Government of Kerala, 2012.
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice International Leadership Award, New York, 2011. [74]
  • N Joseph Mundaserry Award for Outstanding Social Work, Qatar, in 2011.
  • Aakruthi Woman of the Year Award, Rotary International, 2011. [75]
  • G8 Woman Award, Colors TV, 2011.
  • Indiavision Person of the Year Award , Indiavision TV Channel, 2011. [76]
  • Human Rights Award , Vital Voices Global Partnership , Washington DC, 2011. [77]
  • Garshom Pravasi Vanitha Award 2011, Kuwait, 8th Garshom Awards [78] [79] [80]


  • Tejaswini Award, FICCI, 2010.
  • Kelvinator Woman Power Award, Colors TV, 2010.
  • Gangadhar Humanitarian Award, Kerala 2010.
  • Vanitha Women of the Year, Manorama Publications, 2009. [81]
  • Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes from US Department of State , 2009.
  • CNN-IBN Real Hero Award, Reliance Foundation, 2008. [82]
  • Perdita Huston International Award for Human Rights, United Nations or Capital Hill, Washington DC, 2006.
  • World Of Children Health Award 2006.
  • Citation from Governor of Andhra Pradesh for Contribution to Women’s Empowerment 2004.
  • Strée Shakti Puraskar, Government of India, in 2003.
  • Ashoka Fellowship , 2002. [83]

Malayalam movie director Vineeth Sreenivasan was inspired to re life while ontwikkelingslanden the story of his latest movie Thira . [84]


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By Joi Ito – originally posted to Flickr as Dr. Sunitha Krishnan, CC BY 2.0, Link