“Social enterprise is useless without an education,” says Ruchira Gupta of the sex trafficking epidemic in India. Gupta, founder of the NGO Apne Aap, has partnered with jewelry designer Rosena Sammi on the new collection “Who’s Sari Now?” to empower women and children rescued from red light districts across India.
Apne Aap runs classes in small community centers for daughters of women working—by choice or otherwise—as prostitutes. The NGO, which works toward helping the girls gain admission to boarding schools outside of the red light districts, currently has 1,200 children in schools and 2,000 women engaged in income generating activities, producing “Who’s Sari Now?” items for sale. The line of accessories is made from upcycled saris, and Indian sex workers in Bihar and West Bengal are helping make the jewelry, which will be sold in Los Angeles, New York City, and online, beginning this month.
In India, the average age of a girl being pulled into prostitution is between nine and 13, and there are roughly three million prostituted women and girls in India, of which 1.4 million are children. Women In The World sat down with Ruchira Gupta and Rosena Sammi to discuss the epidemic and solutions.
Read more at The New York Times.