At a Bharat Yatra event, where Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was present with Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, the Chief Minister announced an exgratia of Rs.5 Lakh each for the two girls present at the event, who were victims of sex trafficking. The government further assured the 2 survivors that they were eligible for government jobs as a salute to their courage and bravery in the face of adversity. The girls who were victims of sex-trafficking, spoke in Kurnool in the presence of the Chief Minister and Mr. Satyarthi.
The two girls, for the first time, addressed the issue of abuse and sexual assault, on a public platform during the Yatra, so that their stories could inspire other children to break their silence. These girls are currently under the care of ‘Prajwala’, an NGO based in Hyderabad.
Mr. Satyarthi, speaking on the occasion said, “When Bharat Yatra reached Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu promised financial assistance and employment opportunity to these daughters who were victims of trafficking. Today, I thank CM Naidu for fulfilling his promise and also salute the two daughters for being courageous and bold.”
The compensation and responsiveness on the part of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, also highlights the instances of positive action that the Bharat Yatra has brought about in the society.
The Bharat Yatra, launched by Mr Satyarthi travelled 11,000 Kms. across 22 states in 45 days to spread awareness about child sexual abuse and trafficking. The Yatra witnessed participation from millions of children, citizens, judiciary, state governments among others.
During the course of the Yatra, several children shared publicly and for the first time, the horrific experience of abuse, trauma and torture they had endured at the hands of perpetrators, who remained scot free as these victims were silent and never spoke about the crime.
The menace of child sexual abuse and trafficking is a growing moral epidemic and the Yatra was an initiative to spread awareness across the country on the same. It was also during the Yatra’s journey through the state of Andhra Pradesh, that the Chief Minister announced the setting up of a global policy institute, directed by Mr. Satyarthi, which would focus on the rights and well-being of children and ensure that Andhra Pradesh follows a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual abuse.
The demands of the Bharat Yatra range from the harshest possible punishment for perpetrators of sexual assault, a public sex-offender’s registry to establishing child friendly courts and setting up a national tribunal for children.
Sensitivity by Governments, swift action, compensation and justice on part of the parliamentarians and the judiciary will help usher in a new era for India, as a country that is truly safe for children to live in.