Ending Trafficking in India, One Story at a Time
“These videos were created in an intensive, five-day workshop that supported a group of courageous women impacted by human trafficking in sharing personal stories from their lives, and, with the help of mentors in performative and digital storytelling, transforming their experiences into art. While some of the videos may be difficult to watch, as a collection, they show not only the harsh realities of trafficking in India, but how people are taking action against it, and how women are rebuilding their lives in its aftermath. This project valued process as much as end product: the storytellers and their production mentors were guided through activities to build community together and found a sense of empathy and shared purpose in creating the videos. The goal was to enhance the well-being and agency of the storytellers, and continue to build skills among the mentors, for using performance and video to address sensitive human rights issues. The videos are being shared widely across India and in settings around the globe, to prompt conversation and action that can lead to an end to human trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence.
Leading Anti Trafficking Organization Impulse NGO Network-Meghalaya, NEDAN Foundation-Assam , Kolkatta Sanved-West Bengal , New Light -West Bengal , Jeevan Jharna-Chattisgarh , Bangla Natak-Contact Base-West Bengal were part of the Initiative .
The project is a collaboration of the U.S. Consulate Kolkata and Shakti Vahini, in India; and Theater Alliance and StoryCenter in the U.S.”
Raymond Caldwell, Artistic Director, Theater Alliance, Washington D.C.
Amy L. Hill, MA Silence Speaks Director, StoryCenter , California, United States
- Rekha Sarmah : A storyteller, travel lover, social worker and a youth gender activist, Rekha from Guwahati, works in the grassroots to bring change in the society, currently working in a youth led organization – We Are Young Foundation and also working as an English teacher in English Access Microscholarship Program.
- Santu Guchait : A Theatre in Development specialist in community theatre, Santu has been an active theatre artist since 1998 working with the rural and urban crowd in several states of India for fostering inclusive and sustainable development. He has extensively used the Theatre in Development methodology to empower the youth, women and men to lead positive changes in their community.
- Nilankur Mukhopadhyay : Nilankur has been a part of theatre since he was seven training under several acclaimed theatre personalities such as Kaushik Sen, Sohag Sen, Ramaprasad Banik and had spent an entire year training at Nandikar. Part of the English Access Microscholarship Program in 2017 and an active storyteller, he is currently working in television and films.
- Munif Khan : Munif is a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (K-L YES) program alumnus and has been a participant in the Iowa Student Global Leadership Conference (ISGLC). After the completion of his exchange year, he continued serving his community by coordinating about a dozen community service projects in Bangladesh and currently working with a non-profit named, The AKS Khan Centre for Excellence and working relentlessly to promote vocational training in Bangladesh.
- Mithun Banerjee : An engineer by profession, he likes to call himself an artist first. An avid performative storyteller, Mithun is a true performer having forayed into acting, dancing and conducting multiple workshops both nationally and internationally. He has also been a part of several workshops like Chau. Kalaripayattu and Western Contemporary Dance forms.
- Arpita Burman : A Masters in Sanskrit, Arpita was a National Scholar on Puppets and Masks from 2014-2015. Professionally a theatre artist working from 1999, she has not just worked with renowned theatre artists but has also been an active theatre activist since 2010 working with organisations like Seagull Peaceworks, Alternative Living Theatre, Mon Foundation to name a few.
- Abenthung Ngullie : Abenthung Ngullie currently the Program Manager of WAY foundation, is a youth facilitator and has lent his support to other non-profit organizations as a resource person on life skills. His area of expertise is his ability to understand tribal culture and hold youth-groups together. He is also a vivid lover of beautiful grass bamboo and an expert in bamboo craft and bamboo technology.
- Antara Raychaudhuri : A creative and performing designer, Antara is a proprietor of an art shop/boutique Bibidha and has been trying to extend it to an enterprise called Telling Tours combining Storytelling and Tourism. A dancer, associate director, story and screenplay writer and actor, she has recently been a part of the performative ensemble for the project Border Narratives.
- Sriradha Paul : A trained professional Odissi dancer and a facilitator, Sriradha is also the recipient of the Junior & Senior National Scholarship under Ministry of Culture, New Delhi 2006 & 2016 respectively and a graded artist in Doordarshan. Having curated a bi annual festival named “Baithak”, she has also been a participant of the performative and digital storytelling project against gender violence which strengthened her vision and purpose as an artist.
- Suman Das : An actor, designer, theatre workshop specialist and cultural manager, Suman has been an active theatre artist since 1994. Currently a freelancer, he has worked in twenty four states of India for the skill empowerment of children, youth and women belonging to marginalized and the excluded communities using the Theatre in Development methodology. He has worked and trained extensively among youth, women, indigenous people and theatre groups across India and abroad on issues like sanitation, tiger preservation, human trafficking to name a few.
- Priyanka Bose Kanta : Priyanka, who loves to introduce herself as a community lawyer, speaks in different public platforms, especially in universities, for peace building and conflict resolution, and the potential role that women can play towards building a better future. Priyanka’s area of interest includes – human rights in general and women and minority rights in particular.
- Jhuma Das: Jhuma, a senior dance movement therapy practitioner at Kolkata Sanved believes in the power of dance to heal, transform, and change lives. Born in Assam, she spent her growing years as an orphan in a city NGO, where she was forced to choose between dance and a more formal education, and in fact sent back to Assam. Jhuma remained true to her calling and has been brave to pursue her passion in life.
- Mondira Banerjee Mandira Banerjee from EquiDiversity Foundation, West Bengal is working for eliminating the gender discrimination and violence against women. She has a bachelor’s degree in Botany and is [presently pursuing a Master’s in social work. During her leisure times, she loves to paint and experiment with new recipes.
- Sanjukta Sarkar : As a result of the debates she moderates, and dialogues she begins with the youth, the world changes a little every day. While facilitating IELTS and TOEFL classrooms, she inspires sensitization through language. Having a Masters in English Literature, she uses the stage to voice the stories of change.
IMAGES FROM THE STRENGTHENING SURVIVORS VOICES THROUGH DIGITAL AND PERFORMATIVE STORY TELLING PROJECT