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Group in India Targets Sex Trade

An organization in India is fighting forced prostitution by counseling and training women in other forms of work and helping their children so they don't follow in their mothers' footsteps. Fred de Sam Lazaro of Twin Cities Public Television provides a report.

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    She's stands barely taller than these children, but to them Dr. Sunitha Krishnan is a towering figure, big sister, mother, and school principal rolled into one.

    Their faces betray few outward signs of the trauma these children have endured. Every child at this boarding school Krishnan founded is a victim of rape or incest. All are HIV-positive as a result of their assaults.

  • DR. SUNITHA KRISHNAN, Co-Founder, Prajwala:

    I don't know what their future is. I know what their present would be. And it's, for me, one day at a time right now. And my effort is to see that their smiles are restored every day and I can sustain their smiles.


    But beneath her smile lies a deep anger that propels Krishnan, anger at what she sees as public indifference about sexual violence inflicted on children and young women, anger that took root when, as a teenaged social activist, she was gang-raped.


    I think the rape, per se, was not so much of an issue for me. I don't know. For some reason, I was never traumatized by that, the fact that I was raped.

    But what happened after that made me think the way my family treated me, the way the world treated me, the way people around me treated me. The sense that thousands and millions of children and young people are being sexually violated. And there's this huge silence about it around me, angers me. This huge normalization of that angers me.