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Pile of exercise books

Book of Life

By Ben Cohen | 22 Mar 2016

The village in India that stopped trafficking in its tracks with the help of an exercise book.

The problems began for Jorgam Vilage with the floods of 2008.

The village, which heavily relied on agriculture was crippled. Villagers, who belong to the low status ‘Scheduled Castes’ found themselves crippled by hunger and in hock to loan sharks with heavy rates of interest.

All this led to an exodus of villagers. They travelled to nearby states in search of labouring jobs, where they were easily exploited.

Bad Samaritans

Worse still the most vulnerable families were sending their children off with agents to find work. In reality, few children ever found proper paid employment; they were usually sold and ended up as slaves, physically exploited and forced to work in terrible conditions for no pay and no food.

It was then that Madhipura Christian Hospital – supported by Tearfund – stepped in. They managed to mobilise the whole village to stand up to the traffickers.

Children getting the message about trafficking

Clockwise from left: getting the message at school, the village put the book to use, the children – shoulder-to-shoulder against trafficking.

Villagers were invited to a special audio visual awareness programme. Parents learned about the ways that traffickers were exploiting them and what happened to any children that were taken.

Shoulder to shoulder

Madhipura helped the village set up a Child Protection Committee. It monitored any temporary movements with a special migration record. As well as ensuring that no children joined the exodus, the committee made sure that any children that had been exploited were immediately admitted back into school to continue their studies and they didn’t become ‘drop outs’.

In spite of the huge need the villagers faced, everyone cooperated with this initiative. As a result, trafficking has been completely stopped. There have been no incidences of human trafficking in Jorgama since 2014.

It’s a story that Tearfund and our partners are keen to see repeated throughout the world as the word is spread about the evils of trafficking.

Support Tearfund's work, keeping people safe from trafficking, disease and disaster.

Written by

Written by Ben Cohen

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