In September 2016 a group of 9 Rotarians and partners are visiting Kalimpong, NE India to visit the Global Grant funded Project

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The Problem

Kalimpong is in NE India close to the border with Nepal, Bhutan and China and on a through corridor between these countries

 A Needs Assessment (NA) was carried out by Kalimpong Rotary and NE India Churches with local communities and their leaders in recent years. This established there were many vulnerable people in the various communities, unemployed without a sustainable income, and many of the women and children were targets for human trafficking. This in turn leading to the trafficked persons becoming HIV/Aids positive
Those rescued from trafficking were often rejected by their families and needed shelter and self relient skills so they could survive and get back into the community

Recent reports on trafficking in The Calcutta Telegraph state

“The number of people missing in N Bengal has increased many times in the last 10 years, many going into prostitution, slavery or marriage”
Three missing cases in N Bengal in 2001 increased to1089 in 2010
“These figures are the tip of the iceberg”
“Bengal’s Blot - In 2012 there were 8,000 missing girls in Bengal”
“Traffickers can get $1000 for each girl telling them they will get a job in the city”

Addressing Community needs

Following the Needs Assessment,  Kalimpong Rotary in conjunction with the NE India Churches established the Sadhu Singh Project with the following objectives

* Creating Awareness and sensitising the community in trafficking & HIV/Aids

* Providing vocational training for a sustainable livelihood (Phase 1)

* Creating a Shelter Home for women and young girls (Phase 2)

A Vocational Training Centre was partly completed in 2013 in the form of a wind & weather tight building funded by NE India churches but incomplete; at this stage Dunbar Rotary got involved

Phase 1 of the Kalimpong Project involves completing security fencing, water and sanitation, electrical wiring together with providing furniture, training /admin equipment and a vehicle to get the VTC up and running. Training courses include tailoring, animal husbandry, carpentry, masonry, horticulture, electrical wiring etc
A global grant of $69,000 has been obtained for this phase which will be complete in summer 2016

Phase 2 will involve a Shelter Home for trafficked women and children built on top of the VTC. Fund raising has started and a number of Rotary Clubs and individuals have committed funds

The integrated two story building will function as both a training centre and shelter home for those vulnerable in the community and those rescued from trafficking

Who participated in the project

Sixteen Rotary clubs in Scotland, England, India and Czech Republic together with three Rotary Districts

In India a number of NGOs, local community groups, Scottish University Mission SUM , National & local government and the Churches of NE India

The Rotary Action Group- Rotarians against Child Slavery and a number of individuals from the Norwich area

Commitment by national/local government/SUM in India to advise on running VTC and providing certificates

Contributions from

  Rotary clubs              $ 13,000
        Rotary districts          $ 25,000
        Rotary international   $ 30,000
        Individuals                 $    1,000