Striving for a “just, free and equitable society” by combating human trafficking, slavery and child labour: Shakti Vahini – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa & West Bengal

Strengthening Women & Child Rights in India. Ensuring a better world for our future generations through education of children, empowerment of women and protection of environment. […]

Shakti Vahini visions, aspires and strives for Just, Free and Equitable society. We consider it a duty of every citizen to have social concerns and strive for the progress and development of society. In our efforts and struggle to achieve the above, we draw our inspirations from our rich civilization, plurality of culture, spirit of our Democratic Constitution, National Movement for freedom struggle, lives and teachings of our great leaders. […]

The Work We Do

Working on the Ground for Rescue, Protection, Repatriation, Reintegration of women and child victims of human trafficking and sexual assault.

Working towards supporting women victims of violence and sexual assault and helping then in their fight to access justice and ensuring strong legal representations

Working to strengthen law enforcement, state agencies, child protection and civil society responses to combatting human trafficking and violence against women and children […]

Undertake study, research, document and create issue papers on environmental degradation & violation of environmental laws

Source: Vision Statements | Shakti Vahini
Date Visited: 17 March 2023

“If women are empowered, there is more development in society” – Droupadi Murmu
Find this and other speeches by the 15th President of India >>

A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India | Learn more >>

“With the rise in trafficking, certain locations, especially villages, are proving treacherous for Adivasi girls. Villages that are close to main roads, railway stations and bus stations, and the weekly markets are most vulnerable.”

The picturesque area is also home to tribal villages that have been devastated by the trafficking of young Adivasi girls. Sumit Bhattacharjee reports on the modus operandi of the criminal enterprise and meets women who survived to tell the tale | Read the full story >>

According to the 12 police stations spread across the 11 mandals, about 220 cases of missing girls have been recorded in the last five years. But other estimates, as per the records of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) and NGOs such as Nature, suggest that 1,500 women may have gone missing in the past 10 years. In 2017, the police recorded 18 cases of missing girls. […]

While officials think of ways to tackle the problem, the women try to put their traumatic past behind them and think of the future. Rajini says she wants to educate her son. “I have requested the headmaster to admit him next year. I want him to have a proper home and a decent life,” she says, as she gets up from the steps and walks towards the village school. “I am now learning tailoring to support my family. I have also joined the NGO that rescued me. I hope to be a part of their team. I have decided to tour the tribal hamlets to educate young girls, and tell them not to get tricked by strangers who promise them jobs in cities.”

Source: “Araku Valley’s dark secret” by Sumit Bhattacharjee in The Hindu, March 24, 2018 
Date accessed: 24 March 2018

Parents input details on their missing child, citizens who spot the child also upload information, and police make the match

The Indian government has launched a “Lost and Found” website to help families trace the tens of thousands of children in the country who go missing every year – often abducted for forced labour or sexual exploitation – and are never found. […]

Around 70,000 children go missing every year in India, Gandhi said, citing figures from the National Crime Records Bureau. But only 73,597 children have been traced between January 2012 and April 2015, she added.

Child rights activists and government officials say that many of the country’s missing children come from poor rural areas or urban slums where they are at high risk. […]

“Even if people do not know how to use the Internet or have access, they can enlist the help of the village council members, an NGO, or local officials to register their case,” said Ravi Kant, president of Shakti Vahini, an anti-trafficking charity.

“Many NGOs like ours have already being going out into communities where children are at high risk and informing people of Khoya Paya and how they can use it. It is a good step towards finding our missing children.”

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla, editing by Alisa Tang. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit

Source: “India launches ‘Lost and Found’ website to find missing …”, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Date Visited: Wed Mar 22 2017

A minor Pahariya tribal girl, identified as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribe, from Jharkhand who was trafficked to Delhi from Agra to work as a domestic worker was rescued after her employer’s relative, who is an Inspector with the Delhi Police, informed public authorities and NGO Shakti Vahini. The girl’s family and panchayat head reached Delhi to accompany her back to her Jharkhand village. […]

They traced her village to Pakur in Jharkhand and then we contacted officials at the Jharkhand Bhawan,” said Mr. Ratan. […]

Tribal children are particularly vulnerable and we need to have more concerted efforts to prevent trafficking from home States and support the children once they reach Delhi,” said Mr Rishi Kant. […]

Shakti Vahini has rescued more than 70 girls from Jharkhand since January

Source: “Trafficked tribal girl returns home with employer’s help”, Shakti Vahini, The Hindu [Posted on August 22, 2014]
Date Visited: Wed Mar 22 2017

Jharkhand has today emerged as a major source area for intra-country trafficking in India. Most of the trafficking from Jharkhand is of tribals for domestic labour to metropolitan cities where there is a demand for such work. In cities like Delhi, a number of illegal placement agencies have cropped up.  These agencies take advantage of legal loopholes to traffic mostly innocent girls in the name of providing employment but instead are put into extreme conditions of forced labour. 12-14 hours of work every day is a routine practice for these girls. Many of those rescued also report physical and sexual abuse. Several cases of Sexual slavery have also been reported from the victims rescued in Delhi. Some of the victims are trafficked to Haryana and Punjab for the purpose of Bonded Labour and Forced marriage. […]

Most of the women trafficked from Jharkhand belong to Oraon, Munda, Santhal (including endangered Pahariya ) and Gond tribes, out of which, maximum are from Oraon and Munda. The Palamau and Garhwa districts are highly prone to trafficking for child labour in the carpet industry in Uttar Pradesh. Jharkhand is also a transit for the traffickers trafficking girls from Chhattisgarh. The traffickers or the placement agents of the tribal states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal are working in close network. […]

Reports state that thousands of girls have gone missing from Jharkhand’s Tribal hinterlands, however the state has no record. The tribal districts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal are most vulnerable to trafficking. In Jharkhand thousands of girls and boys are missing. It is also noticed that school going girls and boys are equally vulnerable to the risk of trafficking.

Jharkhand faces a huge problem of child labour. The state has been running the National Child Labour Project in Garwah, Sahibganj, Dumka, Pakur, West Singhbhum (Chaibasa), Gumla, Palamu, Hazaribagh and Ranchi.

To add to this, the state machinery has a long way to go to effectively protect trafficking victims, prosecute traffickers, or prevent trafficking. The rehabilitation set up is almost non-existent and probably needs the most work. Political will is also lacking to effectively tackle human trafficking plaguing the state. Extensive work is also required in tracing the missing children of Jharkhand especially after Sen and Nair (2005) made the link between missing children and trafficking clear. […]

We at Shakti Vahini believe that there is an urgent need of partnership among all the stakeholders, NGOs, Police, Judiciary, Ministries and majorly of common man to curb this menace and save our daughters and sons.

Save at least one human from slavery in your life. Take up the pledge to report the cases of human trafficking or child trafficking in your area.

Source: Latest Updates and Press Releases of Shakti Vahini | Promoting and Defending Human Rights in India
Date Visited: Wed Mar 22 2017

Almost every family in India’s big cities has a regular maid. The maid who cooks, cleans, takes care of the children, irons clothes and completes other household work. The ‘bai’ who goes home at the end of a long day to take care of her own family. The ‘aaya’ who always gets paid at the end of every month.

But chances are that someone just like her, a maid working near your house, is being ill-treated or even forced to work – with no pay, no contact with family or friends, working from early morning to midnight and vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse.

We know that you respect maids for the hard work they do, probably your friends and family do too. By signing this pledge, you’ll send a strong message to those who treat their maids as less than human.

The demand for live-in maids in big cities is rising, and feeding on this vast market are numerous, obscure placement agencies that lure vulnerable girls from villages with false promise of a good job in the city. People near you may be paying these agencies to hire a maid without verification, and in most cases, paying the monthly salary to the agency instead of her.

Take a stand for all these girls and young women who can’t speak up for themselves and ensure that they are treated well and are working on their own free will.

Human trafficking is a crime. To report in India, call Shakti Vahini on +91-11-42244224, +91-9582909025 or the national helpline Childline on 1098.

Date Visited: Wed Mar 22 2017

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“In fact, we still do not know to what extent global supply chains are maintained by slavery and child labor. Because of these and other factors, slavery today is more profitable than ever before, and also more woven into the global economy than ever before.” – Siddharth Kara on the persistence of modern slavery| Learn more >>

Human trafficking is a crime. To report in India, call
Shakti Vahini +91-11-42244224, +91-9582909025 or
Childline 1098 (national helpline)

Human Rights Commission (posts) | (Government of India) >>

Learn more


Adivasi (Adibasi)

Adverse inclusion | “Casteism” and its effect on tribal communities

Biodiversity and development – Jharkhand

Bondage | Bonded labour | Human trafficking | SlaveryZamindari

Chief Justice of India | Imprisonment & rehabilitation

Childhood | Childrens rights: UNICEF India | Safe search

Colonial policies | Freedom Struggle | Independence

Community facilities | NGO | Organizations

eLearning | “National development and the development of tribal communities are linked to each other”: Droupadi Murmu – 15th President of India

Gandhian social movement

Health and nutrition | Recommendations by the Expert Committee


Hul (Santal rebellion 1855-1856) | Tribal freedom fighters

Human Rights Commission (posts) | (Government of India)

Information provided by Indian government agencies and other organizations (FAQ)


Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes | SEED – Government scheme

Rural poverty

Shakti Vahini: Striving for Just, Free and Equitable society

Scheduled Tribe (ST) | Denotified Tribe vs. “criminal tribe

State wise ST list (Scheduled Tribes)


Success story

Video | Hul Sengel: The Spirit of the Santal Revolution (1855) – Jharkhand

Video | Lessons on Human Trafficking – Freedom United

Women | Safe search | President Droupadi Murmu on women’s empowerment