Time and again media has been flashing stories of rape however, each of these stories somewhere down the line only point fingers to the victims. The perpetrators are not even asked about, but the victim is shrouded with questions, allegations and more. The stigma that the victim faces in India after a rape is beyond description.
Rebuilding their life is toughest thing ever. Nobody wants to have any association with a rape victim, rehabilitation is an arduous task. There is no sign of justice, only increasing stigma that makes life a living hell. However, there is one person who is working hard to rehabilitate such victims and she is Sunitha Krishnan.
Sunitha has been a victim herself and so she understands the plight of rape survivors better than anyone else. Gangraped by eight men at a tender age of 15, Sunitha has come a long way, working her way to provide relief and rehabilitation to rape victims. The anger in her words is evident when she says, the judiciary is not doing enough, the media is insenstitive and the society is being indifferent to all that is happening.
Sunitha was born in Bangalore to Malayali parents. Her father was a surveyor and this enabled her to travel all across the country. She was into social causes since her childhood and her parents supported her wholeheartedly. Her rape was an event that tuned her life around completely. Being a victim and facing the stigma, she refused to let the incident break her spirit and thus Prajwala was born.
Her institution Prajwala is not just home but also hope for trafficked women and girls looking for rehabilitation and shelter. Prajwala was co-founded in 1996 with Brother Jose Vetticatil, a Catholic missionary. They first started by converting a brothel into a school for the children of sex workers in Hyderabad. Time and again she has been threatened and attacked and one such attack left her with irreparable ear damage. In spite of all this, she has managed to rescue and rehabilitate over 8,000 girls.
Today, Prajwala has over 200 employees, but Krishnan works as a fulltime volunteer and supports herself by conducting workshops and writing. She has also co-produced films along with her on husband and film maker Rajesh Touchriver. Their movies on sex slavery have been critically-acclaimed and are a great example of advocacy.
The fight is not over for Krishnan and she is ready for all the challenges that are thrown up in front of her. She is known to be fierce and outspoken, especially with the media. An active TED speaker and a recipient of many national and international awards in the field of social service, Sunitha Krishnan was also honoured with the Padmashree in 2016, for her never ending efforts in the field of social work.