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Act now! Sign this Petition, stop India from legalizing child labour.

To stop India from legalizing child labour
Photo: David Goldman, davidgoldmanphoto.com

Photo: David Goldman, davidgoldmanphoto.com

India’s parliament has just passed a bill to legalize child labor in Family and Family-based enterprises and the audio-visual entertainment. This is 90% of India’s child labour. With this law, unscrupulous employers and contractors will get impunity and India’s 4.4 million child workers will not get a chance to escape their caste-based occupations.

Additionally, the government has cut 50% of its budget for women and children and 28% for education. This has led to the closure of mid-day meals and boarding schools for poor low caste children, putting them at risk of labour and sexual exploitation.

We urgently ask you to sign this petition urging the President of India to send the Bill back for review.

Share by cutting and pasting the message below on Twitter and Facebook:
Please sign and tweet this petition to #President of #India to stop legalizing #ChildLabour https://goo.gl/bweSck @Ruchiragupta @apneaap

How our school in Bihar saves girls from Prostitution featured in Los Angeles Times

Check out Barbara Davidson’s visit to Apne Aap in this article in LA Times:

This school in India saves girls as young as 12 from the family business: prostitution

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Bihar Leads The Way
 
You can help:
1. Donate here to support girls to learn, play, and stay safe…
2. Tweet the following messages:
@ApneAap #Bihar #school saves #girls from #Prostitution by @photospice @ruchiragupta #ApneAap http://fw.to/KfJCJ0 donate www.apneaap.org
or
@ApneAap #Bihar #India #school saves #girls from #Prostitution by @photospice @LATimes @ruchiragupta http://fw.to/KfJCJ0
3. Facebook and email the link to your friends and family:
Do take a moment to see the compelling photos and captions by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson in Los Angeles Times on how
This School in India Saves Girls from Prostitution. The girls are not passively waiting for their future- they are playing, laughing, studying, happy…facing the menace of the world outside with joy and spirit.
4. If possible go to the comments section below the photo-essay
5. Instagram any of the photos crediting Barbara Davidson, LA Times.

Caption: LA Times Article on Apne Aap’s school in India saving girls from prostitution: http://fw.to/KfJCJ0 Support Apne Aap by visitingwww.ApneAap.org/Donate and share the photo with #ApneAap

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Ruchira’s keynote speech at NGO CSW/NY Forum Consultation Day before the start of UN CSW 59

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Click the image above or here to hear our founder Ruchira Gupta deliver a keynote address at the Apollo on CSW59 Consultation Day which took place at the historic Apollo Theatre on Sunday March 8th, 2015.

Please share the recording and the documents on this page with your peers and help us advocate for change.

Transcript of keynote address: Ruchira Gupta, Apollo CSW/NY Consultation Day 2015

Our Letter to UN Women: Apne Aap’s letter to UN Women

2012 UN Reports: UN reports 2012

UN Women’s note 2013: UN Women’s note on sex work sexual exploitation and trafficking

PBS NewsHour airs a two-part special on Apne Aap conducting a rescue

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“RUCHIRA GUPTA: I am once again reminded why slavery still exists, because the laws are on paper and they are never implemented. And this is like – is back to ground zero, where I realize that the police, come what may, do not want to implement the laws on behalf of women and girls.”

Above Ruchira Gupta speaks on the troubles involved with fighting sex trafficking in the PBS NewsHour special which aired this week. Special PBS correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro traveled to India to take a closer look at the issue.

Please take a look at Apne Aap working in the field to put an end to sex trafficking as they conduct a rescue in India in a two-part special. Links provided below:

To watch Part one: click here

To watch Part two: click here

Last Girl March

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In the memory of Nirbhaya we are launching a march asking for an end to violence against women and girls. We have started this global march in the red light area of Frobesganj, Bihar because we believe that the last girl who is poor, female, low caste is the worst vicitm of sexual violence. She is invisible and neglected. Our march hopes to make the last girl visible and to be included in all laws and policies and government interventions for her uplift. We want the ‘uday’ of the ‘ant kanya’.

The symbol of the march is Priya, a comic character who is a rape survivor, who flies around the world on a tiger standing upto sexual violence. Every march will start with a mural painted on a street wall and end at a bus stand, in memory of Nirbhaya or Jyoti Singh Pandey who was brutally raped in a bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012 and then murdered. The mural will also be the image of Priya sitting on a tiger against sexual violence.

This march will go all the way to UN in New York City with a call to action on March 2015 during the International Women’s Day asking the UN to include the last girl as they debate the Beijing Plus Twenty plan of action.

We invite everyone to join our march by doing similar events anywhere till March, 2015. You can join our March by uploading photos of your march and selfies with Priya on our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apne-Aap-Woman-Worldwide/

Anybody can download the comic online from this free downloadable link, https://www.facebook.com/priyas.shakti and the image for the mural and march from Apne aap’s website, https://www.apneaap.org/

Patna High Court files landmark Judgment on Apne Aap PIL

Migrant Sugar Cane ProjectPhoto by: David Goldman, davidgoldmanphoto.com

Click here to read judgment  

Patna High Court files landmark Judgment on Apne Aap PIL

Here is a link to a landmark judgment by the Patna High Court http://indiankanoon.org/doc/83172639/ on a public interest litigation filed by Apne Aap three years ago after our activist Kalam was falsely arrested, another activist Fatima’s daughter was kept in a police lockup up all night and  police looked on as traffickers pulled girls out of our boarding school saying their pimp-father had the right to take their daughters out!

We had asked for the court to ask the police to arrest traffickers and not activists, have special police officers for trafficking cases, social welfare services for both victims and at risk girls in every panchayat, boarding schools for at-risk girls, health, education, housing and legal services as well citizenship and subsidy documents for all victims. We shared Apne Aap’s ten asset approach from safe space, education through KGBV boarding schools, to karate class, to government IDs and subsidies, to livelihood support, bank accounts and services or victims as well as more shelters and more police action against traffickers and clients.

In a sweeping judgement, the court has asked the government of Bihar to tackle trafficking from every angle in every village. They will work to identify missing children, ensure school for at-risk children, arrest traffickers and clients, provide citizenship papers and subsidies to at-risk women and victims, provide seed money for small business, set up more shelters, and report back. It is truly one of the most comprehensive anti-trafficking judgements in the poorest state of India with a population of 82,998,509 of which 23,852,828 are girls. This judgement can transform the lives of the most marginalized of them by giving them access to citizenship and services and justice which has evaded them for centuries.

If we can get this judgement implemented in spite of the lack of resources in Bihar and track the difference it makes in five years, we will have proven our point to the whole world.

 

Lucy Liu’s Directorial Debut on Human Trafficking

The New York Times

By: Lucy Liu

I traveled to Mumbai in 2010 to direct my first film “MEENA,”based on the first chapter of Nick and Sheryl’s book Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Even though MEENA is only a 20 minute film and took 5 days to shoot, it has taken nearly four years for it to finally be seen by an audience. The earlier feedback we received was that the content was too strong and that viewers would feel uncomfortable with the aggressive nature of violence in conjunction with children. The premiere of Meena this week was truly transformative. I felt excited and reinvigorated to be surrounded by an audience who were not only engaged by the film’s message, but also curious about how they can become more actively involved in learning about child protection…continue reading.

 

 

A Constant Battle Against the Sale of Bodies in Bihar

New York Times

The women’s rights activists Ruchira Gupta and Gloria Steinem are keeping a diary of their travels throughout India as they meet the country’s young feminists, writers and thought leaders (previous posts are here and here). In this installation for India Ink, Ms. Gupta and Ms. Steinem visit Patna, Bihar state’s capital, and Forbesgunge, a small town on the border of India and Nepal, in Bihar.

Jan. 22, Wednesday:  Not many tourists go to Bihar.  It’s one of the poorest states in India, with good land for agriculture but too few other jobs and too little electricity to create them. Buddha was born here, but after national boundaries were drawn, his birthplace ended up in Nepal. This was also the home ground of Jayprakash Narayan, the great Gandhian socialist leader, but a leftist tradition is held against Bihar by a central government now into big business. Life is politics. Politics is life.

This is my fourth visit to Bihar, Ruchira’s family home. They used their income from small rice, oil and biscuit factories to help socialists, reformers, poets. You might say they were the Kennedys of Bihar. Continue Reading.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem launches her new book

Business Standard

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem today released a compilation of her insightful and thought-provoking writings here for the first time in India.

The book “The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader: As if Women Matter”, contains an introduction by Ruchira Gupta, Founder President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an anti-sex trafficking NGO.

Published by Rupa Publications in English and Rajkamal publications in Hindi, the book includes a brand new essay on sex trafficking “The Third Way-An End of Trafficking and Prostitution: A Beginning of Mutual Sexuality” by Gloria.

“Gloria is an inspiration for not just women activists and feminists but every woman on the planet. For me she is my guru and working on her book was my way of thanking her for all she has taught me,” Ruchira said. Continue Reading.

As if Women Matter: The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader

Edited by Ruchira Gupta

Published by Roopa ( English)

Rajkamal ( Hindi)

Her early years in India taught her the Gandhian lesson that change, like a tree, must grow from the bottom up. Her decades of work with the feminist movement in her own and other countries taught her that violence and domination are normalized by the false division of human beings into subject and object, dominator and dominated, “masculine” and “feminine.”

Now, Gloria Steinem and activist Ruchira Gupta in India have chosen from her lifetime of writing those essays that reach across borders. She shares the feminist revelation that racism, caste and class cannot survive without controlling women’s bodies, and also many of the ways that feminist women and men are fighting that control. Due to female infanticide, child marriage, forced childbirth, domestic violence, sex trafficking, sexual assault in our streets, sexual assault in war zones, femicide and global pornography, this Space Ship Earth no longer has an equal number of female passengers. Consciousness has never been higher, or rebellion more widespread. This book is part of a much larger global rebellion. It includes a brand new essay by Steinem on sex trafficking: The Third Way-An End of Trafficking and Prostitution: A Beginning of Mutual Sexuality.

In its pages, you will find ideas, outrage, seriousness and laughter — and a friend

If you are in the area, consider attending the following events:

Monday, January 13, 2014: As if Women Matter: Hopes and Challenges in the Years Ahead: A Conversation between Gloria Steinem and Activists Teesta Setalvad, Vimal Thorat, Ayesha Kidwai and Jayati Ghosh, and Ruchira Gupta, followed by Q&A with students. Hosted by School of Social Sciences (SSS), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi at SSS Auditorium, 3:00- 6:30pm

Tuesday, January 14, 2014: As if Women Matter: The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader, Book Reading by Author. Hosted by Oxford Book Store at N – 81 Connaught Place, New Delhi, 6:00-8:00 pm

Wednesday, January 15, 2014: As if Women Matter – The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader, Book Release, followed by a talk with Ela Bhatt. Hosted by India International Centre, New Delhi at the Auditorium, India International Centre, 6:30-8:00 pm

Friday, January 17, 2014: The Essential Gloria Steinem: A Conversation Between Gloria Steinem and Ruchira Gupta. Hosted by Jaipur Literary Festival, Jaipur at the Diggi House, Jaipur, 12:30-2:00 pm

Thursday, January 23, 2014: Talk: As if Women Matter: New Challenges in the New World Order, moderated by Ruchira Gupta. Hosted by Patna Women’s College, Patna University,  Patna, 3:00 pm

Saturday, January 25, 2014: Inauguration of Kolkata Literary Meet by Gloria Steinem, followed by a conversation between Ruchira Gupta and Gloria Steinem at Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. Hosted by Kolkata Literary Meet, 1:45-3:15 pm

Monday, January 27, 2014: Talk: New Freedom Struggle: Women’s Rights in India, A Conversation between Gloria Steinem, Ruchira Gupta, with the students of Presidency College and Jadavpur University, moderated by Nilanjana S. Roy. Hosted by Kolkata Literary Meet at Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, 1:45-3:00 pm 

Thursday, January 30, 2014: Women’s Rally at Araria Mahila College Ground, Bihar, 12:00-3:00 pm

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