Whilst the figures show that human trafficking is the fastest growing illegal industry in the world, few people tirelessly work to fight against it. Measuring at only one hundred and forty centimetres, one woman stands tall against this ever-mounting battle, and fights against it.
Sunitha Krishnan is a fighter in every sense of the word. A survivor of a violent gang rape in her early teens, she has fought through intense stigma and isolation in a society where the rape victim is in essence the perpetrator of her own rape. Channelling her aggression from strong apathetic views of those around her, she began fighting for not only herself but for others who had been subjected to the same treatment.
With that courageous approach, she co-founded Prajwala –along with Jose Vetticatil- in Hyderabad, India dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking. Prajwala seems to mirror the journey that Sunitha herself has made, the transformation from a victim, engulfed in stigma from society, to a fighter and an activist. Prajwala itself exists amongst huge opposition from stakeholders within the sex industry, where those working for Prajwala face life threatening and even fatal consequences.
Prajwala, like Sunitha, continues to fight daily in such a harsh environment, rescuing those who are trapped and exploited within the sex industry, and giving them the skills, which they need to live the life that all human should be afforded as a basic right through its rehabilitation programs.
The success of Sunitha Krishnan lies not only in her fighting spirit but her ability to show genuine concern and compassion for fellow human beings not on charitable grounds but on humanitarian grounds.
It’s her want to seek to empower those whom have grown up into a world without power, or who have had their power taken from them. Her ability to provide a voice, but importantly Sunitha fights to generate compassion and acceptance from the community in which victims are usually ostracised and face stigma.
Sunitha Krishnan is a truly inspirational figure, from what she has overcome, and how she was able to succeed in light of the immense obstacles she has faced. In an industry where the most vulnerable become disposable commodities, and where the stakeholders generate enormous profits for themselves, Sunitha Krishnan’s personal sacrifice is truly noble.