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Human Rights: Too Much To Ask For?

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Human Rights Day with logo

As we stand in 2013, going ahead towards another year full of promises of progress, we can’t help but stop and reflect back on the disparity created in the society and how it has changed our outlook towards people.

40 million children below that age of 15 are suffering from child abuse and neglect. There are approximately  246 million child laborers worldwide. Throughout history, women have been denied the knowledge, means, and freedom to act in the best interest of themselves and their children. And we call children the future of our world.

Hillary Rodham Clinton talked about Women’s Rights are Human Rights in 1995. Clinton exhibited an incredible amount of emotion in order to evoke empathy from the audience. She appealed to their emotions by relating issues facing women all over the world. The list of atrocities she gave which breach basic human rights also lend strongly to her pathos argument: (courtesy Wikipedia)

“- It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls.
– It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution for human greed — and the kinds of reasons that are used to justify this practice should no longer be tolerated.
– It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war.
– It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide among women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes by their own relatives.
– It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation. 
– It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will”.

With similar emotions, PROTSAHAN was started 3 years back, helping protect the rights of little girls in a small village in the heart of the Capital of India. The girls were neglected, abused and mistreated. This was the reality of their life. Absolutely no exposure to the outside world, these girls accepted this as the way of life and continued to live. The local schools were not well equipped to handle such harsh situations and barely imparted basic education.

When we first started, even though education at Protsahan was free of cost, there was a resistance we faced. People did not trust us and refused to send their kids. But as we kept working in the area with schools and individual children, we started getting response. Many girls recommended their friends and we brought them to the school.

Because the girls had gone through difficult circumstances, it was important to channelize their emotions in a direction where it can be used productively. A platform had to be provided for the girls to express their anger, guilt, sadness, happiness. Hence, Protsahan started using the innovative approaches of Design, Art, Digital Stories, Photography, Technology & Cinema to foster Creative Education and Sustainable Livelihoods. The mission being “Encouraging Skills Development & Creative Education through DESIGN THINKING at the bottomest of pyramid”.

In the last 3 years, we have touched the lives of about a 3000 little girls and boys from urban slums/ red light areas/ construction sites/streets. Most children we work with are sexually abused or under the influence of drugs. We work with CREATIVE EDUCATION to mainstream them. We also run women empowerment and skill based initiatives for their mothers/exploited women in urban slums, where their exploitation is maximum.

It has been a fulfilling process for Team Protsahan and with bigger dreams, we aim to completely Stop Child Abuse and equip these girls to change the lives of many more girls, empowering them to fight for their rights.


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