Apne Aap was set up by Emmy award winning investigative journalist Ruchira Gupta, after she filmed her documentary, 'The Selling of Innocents", on the trafficking of women and children from Nepal to India. She has worked as an Anti-Trafficking Expert for a US AID project based in Washington DC to end human trafficking all over the world and testified to the US Senate as an expert witness on human trafficking for the passage of the Victims Protection Bill. She hasserved the UN in various capacities for many years in Kathmandu,Bangkok, Kosovo, New York and Iran on issues related to women's empowerment. As a journalist she has worked for The Telegraph, The Sunday Observer and the BBC and was recently featured with Apne Aap in Paul Merton's travel series Merton' s India.
Apne Aap works to free women and children trapped in the sex industry, giving them support, health care and developing their leadership skills to help them help not just themselves but each other. They work with the children of women in prostitution, giving them safety in the form of night creches and therapy through art, narrative and dance.In doing so they are working to prevent inter-generational prostitution.
Not only do they work with the women, providing soup kitchens and reintegration centres to help the women wanting to exit prostitution,but they actively educate and lobby the police and policy makers on trafficking, prostitution, HIV/AIDS, violence against women and children's and women's rights. They are trying to get the demand for prostitution criminalised, as apposed to the trafficked women who are the victims.
The community centres they have set up in the red light areas and slums of Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Kidderpore (Kolkata) and Forbesgunge provide the women and children with the following:
Literacy Classes for women in prostitution
Youth group discussion
Workshops and Training for girls and children
At Avasarah, we are humbled by the work of Apne Aap and heart broken by the dreadful circumstances of the women and children of the redlight districts and slums of India. Their story makes us so grateful for our own lives and opportunities. We are sure you will agree, so if you buy any piece of Michelle Tuck jewellery, you can wear it with the knowledge that you have helped to bring a little ray of hope to the women and children of Apne Aap.
If you would like to make direct contributions to Apne Aap, you can visit their website www.apneaap.org