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Odlabari meeting

Partnerships in West Bengal

Working with the SSB border patrol has helped reduce the cost of running Operation Red Alert Safe Village programs. Local NGO Doars Express is now being equipped to extend their impact to include prevention work.

In the last year 400 girls have gone missing from one village –Odlabari Jalpijguri, West Bengal. 150 of these were reported, while the others were not pursued because a family member was involved in the case and the relatives don’t want to ruin their lives. In this village, Operation Red Alert is working with local NGO Doars Express and the SSB (Special Service Bureau’s Lead Intelligence Agency on the Indo-Nepal and Bhutan borders) to educate families and young girls on trafficking.

Both Doars Express and the SASHASTRA Seema Bal (SSB) are lead agents in the rescue of trafficked girls in this area, but need support to work towards the prevention of trafficking. Together, we are reaching more families and building a more robust prevention-rescue network to keep girls safe.

Although the SSB’s primary designation is for border security, they have become lead agents in Indian governmental and international efforts to curb human trafficking along the border. UNICEF supports SSB efforts by providing training on identifying trafficking and how to help victims post rescue. When Operation Red Alert Program Director Vivian Isaac met SSB officials in West Bengal, they immediately offered their services to aid the program.

The SSB officials provided transport for our local team, tents and floor mats for outdoor meetings, audio-visual equipment for our multimedia workshops, and help gathering village members to attend programs. Moreover, their officers spoke during our sessions advocating for valuing girl children and keeping them safe from traffickers.

Doars Express is a local NGO focussed on rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked girls. Although they operate within the extremely high level at risk area of Odlabari, they had not worked to educate families in order to prevent the trafficking of girls. Operation Red Alert conducted the Safe Village program in partnership with Doars Express and is helping equip them to continue running the program as a part of their ongoing work in the area.

To reverse situations like the one in Odlabari, we must become better organized than the traffickers. Operation Red Alert is committed to doing everything we can to bridge these gaps, and help incredible groups like the SSB and Doars Express to work together and start preventing trafficking before it begins.

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Your donations make it possible for us to give families the choice to keep their girls safe from exploitation and violence. Help us educate more families, bring awareness to India and run its first national anti-sex trafficking helpline.

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