One of the oldest red light areas of Hyderabad city was evacuated in the year 1996. Thousands of women in prostitution were suddenly uprooted and displaced, this forced them to look at their lives very closely and introspect about the insecure status of their children. The plea of the mothers for a dignified future for their children made Bro Jose Vetticatil and Dr Sunitha Krishnan two visionaries to come together and initiate an intervention(Prajwala) for PREVENTION THROUGH EDUCATION.
The enormity of the situation and the vastness of the task did not stop Prajwala from making a small initiative. At this point of time Prajwala responded and intervened to start a small education program in the form of a transition center with the participation of women in prostitution. The process of interaction with the women posed a threat to the traffickers, the middle-men, and the brokers, which led to a long challenge and struggle for the core team of Prajwala. The founders Dr.Sunitha Krishnan and Bro.Jose Vetticatil were faced with life threatening situations a number of times, which they braved through with the conviction that an alternative is possible.
The journey of Prajwala commenced with full conviction and faith in people’s participation in the process of change. Although women were concerned about the children, they were not ready for partnership. Prajwala initially had problems in convincing the mothers to become partners and participate to bring about a change in their lives. But eventually they saw the logic and got completely involved in supporting an intervention which will help their children integrate in the mainstream society.
As the journey progressed, Prajwala was faced with the challenge of responding to other related issues such as sex trafficking of children. Out of no choice it became imperative to find ways to intervene. As the needs expanded so also the evolution of other interventions such as rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration and community based prevention.