Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

If you don't create change, change will create you. Change starts when someone sees the next step and the first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. Many fine things can be done in a day if you don't always make that day tomorrow. You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.

Sometimes it's the smallest decisions with larger aims that can change the lives of many. If our attempts can at least become a spark. We are really grateful and the TEAM can proudly proclaim ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’.

If you can LEND A HELPING HAND for the advancement of our country and its people be part of our ENDEAVOR.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A NOBLE CRUSADE


         “Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see”

By: Jithin Raghavan

Heroes are considered those who beyond the rules sacrifice themselves to the benefit of their principles! Mostly, in that time not many understand their stand and decisions, later the people see the contribution and proceed in accepting them as heroes! It is not heroism when a person with an IQ of 165 and plenty of cash on hand makes it to Harvard. It is heroism when this same person 

finds a way to give of himself to the world around him, despite his privileged circumstances.

 Here is someone, who by her noble and inspirational actions is truly deserving of that title.
Ruchira Gupta, 48, has the habit of putting women like Sita Devi, 51, at ease. “Ruchira madam helped me get my confidence back,” says Sita, who worked in a red light district in Kolkatta until Apne Aap, an NGO established by Ruchira nearly 10 years ago, showed her a way out and eventually carved a new life for her as one of its volunteers. Sita’s is a story echoed by over 10000 women around India, who have beeen rescued from forced sex trade by Ruchira’s globally-feted NGO. Ruchira, a former journalist, got herself involved with this in 1995 after she finished a documentary on sex trade in Nepal.


Ruchira Gupta, (left) receiving the Clinton Global Citizen award for Leadership of Civil Society in 2009
The 47-minute film titled The Selling of Innocents was shot over a period of nine months during which Ruchira closely interacted with women in red light districts in Nepal and Mumbai. The documentary was acclaimed worldwide and, a year later, won Ruchira an Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism.


After the film wrapped up, she stayed in touch with the 22 women whose stories she had recounted. She didn’t want to go back to journalism and wanted to do something about all the exploitation she had seen in the brothels. She decided to form a self-help outfit that met informally to discuss their problems. During their meetings, Ruchira would coach the women about how they had the right to say no to flesh trade and also enable their kids to get access to education.

This group became the model for how Apne Aap would eventually operate. The organisation today has nearly 150 anti-trafficking self-help groups across Asia, South East Asia and other countries. This initial effort was set into motion in the year 2002 when Ruchira officially registered the NGO in mumbai.

Eventually Apne Aap began reaching out to women in Kolkatta, Bihar and New Delhi. They go to key areas where intervention was required, identify and form a team of local women, who would be educated and trained to communicate with their peers in the red light area, make them aware of their rights and encourage them to come to each others’ aid. Governments and other private organizations are being approached for monetary aid. Apne Aap’s self-help groups usually have about 15 members, whose primary task is to campaign with the local officials for access to education, subsidized food, police protection and other rights. They also run gender resource centers where they provide non-formal education and vocational training to groups of girls and women to get an alternative means of livelihood.

Undoubtedly, obstacles have cropped up every step. Those involved in the sex-trafficking industry have threatened them quite often. Ruchira believes she can take care of herself but she is worried about the more vulnerable among them. The constant backing of her family – especially her husband Sunil Nerula who works in the UN – makes plenty of difference.

Much like how Apne Aap became a universal movement, Ruchira’s aim is to effect change at the very highest level and for which purpose she has vigorously fought for a stringent anti-trafficking law in the world and in India. She wants woman to attain a status where they can transform the system that takes their power away from them in the first place. 


A noble crusade indeed!!