A team of ten students visited Shakti Vahini as a part of the Study Abroad Programme of the university. The Students collaborated with Shakti Vahini NGO which helped them to understand the problem of Human Trafficking in India and the initiatives that the Government of India had taken up to Combat the social menace.The students were led by Assistant Professor of Department of Political Science Ms. Vanessa Bouche and Ms. Tracy Williams.
This was the second year when such a visit was organized.
During the one week Exposure Visit, the students visited the Child Welfare Committee to understand the Juvenile Justice System in India with emphasis to children in need of care and protection. During the meeting, the students were enlightened by the existing laws to preserve Child Rights in India was elaborated with emphasis to the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act. Apart from that the students were also told about the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee which has the magisterial power in handling cases of children in Need of Care and Protection.
Railway Stations being the most prolific transit points and Railways being the most preferred mode of travelling, Shakti Vahini also arranged a visit of the students at the Railway Station premise where they met various stakeholders and how Shakti Vahini has been working in the railway stations to combat Human Trafficking through railways.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad, UP held a conference on Operation Smile, a UP Police initiative to trace Missing Children with the students. During the conference the Police officers briefed them about the Operation Smile and also informed them about the success of UP Police in tracing more than 200 missing children till date. They also discussed about the issue of Human Trafficking and the role of Police in combating the crime.
The exposure visit programme was ended on May 21, 2015 in a feedback meeting held at Shakti Vahini office where the students shared their experience during the course of the visit. All the students thanked Shakti Vahini for assisting in providing exposures to understand the situation of the problem of Trafficking in India and also helping in Understanding the system to combat the problem.
The students also got a understanding of the Criminal Justice System of India and how Shakti Vahini was engaged in case follow ups and providing legal aid and support to victims of Human Trafficking.
Ms Vanessa proposed to build a partnership with Shakti Vahini taking forward the relationship not only as Exposure Visit but so that the students could also contribute in advocating on the issue. She also proposed for building up a set up where students in every semester could link up with Shakti Vahini and provide skill development and vocational training to the victims of trafficking mainly for commercial sexual exploitation as part of their rehabilitative process. She and her students also talked about providing training to those victims in manufacturing products like jewelry-making so that the same could be sold in the US Markets.
Mr. Ravi Kant, President Shakti Vahini also proposed for welcoming students from TCU for longer internship with the organization.
A team of research students of US-based Texas Christian University today came to Ghaziabad to study various aspects of human trafficking. Senior Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Singh Yadav briefed the research scholars about ‘Operation Smile’, an initiative which was launched to trace missing children. He said that till date Ghaziabad Police have rescued 553 missing children from various states across India in two phases under ‘Operation Smile’. The team of 10 scholars, pursuing American Foreign Policy in Global Fight against Global Human Trafficking, was headed by Associate director Tracy Rundstrom Williams.