New Delhi, 25th October, 2013:- Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women’s Rights, France who is on a short trip to India visited the Apne Aap centre in Najafgarh, to meet the women and girls, survivors of intergenerational prostitution, who are now being imparted skill development courses and other alternate livelihood training by Apne Aap to become self reliant and confident to lead independent- dignified lives.
Najat has taken up the issue of prostitution and sex trafficking very seriously in France. This is the French Minister’s first visit to India after being appointed to the French government and defending women rights, promoting gender equality, and fighting human trafficking are on the agenda for her visit.
Supporting Apne Aap’s mission to end human slavery and sex trafficking in India, while interacting with the survivors at the Najafgarh centre Najat said, “I had the good fortune to meet Ruchira a few weeks ago in Paris and I was very impressed with her commitment & her sincerity to put an end towards any kind of exploitation of women. So I decided to support her during my visit and see her centre.”
She further added,” People with good intentions must help each other. If we need to bring new laws to change mentalities we need to convince people that it is not normal to buy sex and I see in Ruchira a great and committed activist.”
She also applauded the students and staff members for their sincere efforts and their enthusiasm to work towards a more sustainable means of earning their livelihood.
Appreciating Najat Vallaud’s keen desire to understand and address the issue of violence against women and her continuing efforts to lead the fight against human trafficking in her European Union Strategy, Ruchira Gupta, founder President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide (AAWW) said, “We are honored to have Najat Vallaud-Belkacem between us and appreciate her support to Apne Aap’s fight against sex trafficking. It’s high time that prostituted women and children are seen as victims of violence. At Apne Aap we work closely with vulnerable communities to provide them with better opportunities and help them improve their livelihood.”
The Apne Aap cause and initiatives has received international support by activists and dignitaries like Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Ashley Judd, Ashton Kutcher, Ricky Martin, Justin Hilton among others.