Sheela's family kept their hope through all their battles!
Sheela* is a young girl from a poor family in Mau, Uttar Pradesh. Her father worked as a carpenter and a daily wage labourer to sustain them. But no matter how much he toiled, he could never earn enough to take care of the family of eight.
When Sheela was 15, she was kidnapped. Her father searched for her everywhere he could, but in vain. He even got the police involved but they did not help much. When no authority he reached out to helped him, he began to lose all hope of ever finding his daughter again.
When he heard of the NGO Guria, he approached them for help. They pushed the case with the authorities and made sure that it was given the importance it deserved. The police finally tracked Sheela down in six months and a case was registered against the kidnappers.
The accused kept threatening her and her family to withdraw the case. When they didn't agree, Sheela was kidnapped again. She was trafficked to Mumbai by the accused where she was gang raped and sold. When she was being moved again for prostitution, she managed to escape from the trafficker and call her father to inform him about the whole incident.
With the help of Guria, they brought Sheela back home as soon as they could. The staff at Guria ensured that she got the medical care she needed. They also registered her case in the court again and are pushing for her to receive justice.
They shifted Sheela's family to a safer location and provide them witness protection while the trial is pending. They also counselled Sheela and made sure that she got the emotional support she needed to move forward.
Young girls like Sheela need all the support they can get to rise after the trauma they undergo. You can stand up for them by donating to help them with the needed resources to get back up. You can give with confidence because every program on our platform is GIVEASSURED.
*Names changed to protect the identity of the survivor.
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you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries
What the beneficiary gets
Guria provides legal aid to women and children who have been rescued from sex trafficking as well as standalone cases of rape and assault in the community.
They work with the primary aim of ensuring that the perpetrators are put in jail without bail. Conviction is a secondary goal as it takes a long time for court verdicts in the Indian judicial system.
In many cases of abuse, the victims are very reluctant to file an FIR with the police because of social stigma. Many victims are afraid of the authorities and do not have faith that the justice system will protect them. In such cases, they work with the victim and/or their families to help hem lodge an FIR or a complaint in proper sections with the police stations or courts.
Once filed, Guria supports the victim to provide the relevant evidences to the investigating officer and protects the victims from being further abused or threatened by the perpetrator. Guria has its own set of lawyers who assist the government lawyer to build the case. The lawyers also work with the victims to help them for deposition in the court.The lawyers also work with the victims to help them for deposition in the court.
After ensuring arrest and submission of chargesheet against the perpetrators they aim to ensure that the perpetrators are retained in jain without the possibility of bail. In case of delayed justice, Guria also work in areas of witness protection, brothel seizures, opposing custody by the same traffickers etc.
The time between the incident and filing an FIR varies from same day to as long as 4 months. The investigation period could by itself be from 6 months to a year. The common roadblocks that are faced are denial of FIR Registration, delayed investigation and filing of chargesheet in improper sections, delayed medical examination of the victims and the accused, delay in recording of statement before magistrate, non-collection of evidences scientifically as per law, no free and fair investigation, facilitating the accused in absconding by delay in arrest
Once the investigation is completed the police file a chargesheet which allows them to arrest the accused and produce them in court.
In parallel to the court proceedings, they also work with the victims providing them counselling aid to help them go back to normal life. In some cases they also provide financial aid along with the government compensation to help them set up income generating activities.
When you support this program you help a survivor of abuse get access to legal aid and counseling.
23 March, 2021
Progress Update - Legal Intervention amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Guria India’s integrated legal intervention is an integral part of its end-to-end holistic strategy. We always ensure taking a multidimensional approach for coming to a logical conclusion in each and every case. During this reporting period, we also intervened in 14 new cases at the district court and Hon’ble High Court which takes up the total number of cases intervened to 216. But as per the current update, 184 cases have already been disposed leaving behind 32 pending cases. Out of these 184 disposed cases, our legal advocacy achieved success in 122 cases (66% success rate against the ground reality of 17% conviction rate as per US TIP Report 2020) in the form of bail rejections of traffickers, safe custodies of rescued/rape survivors, opposing fake custodies of the rescued victims to the traffickers/brothel keepers who use forged documents and conviction of 4 traffickers. The legal proceedings were hampered to a much greater extent during this reporting period due to irregular court sittings in the context of lockdown amidst COVID-19 pandemic. The traffickers/brothel keepers were able to take advantage of the Supreme Court order on granting bail during lockdown to avoid overcrowding of jails and hence it became too tough for us to oppose the bails at district courts & Hon’ble High Court. However, we opposed the bails, proceedings stays and revisions filed by the traffickers/brothel keepers at the district court level and also in the Hon’ble High Court.
In the backdrop of the supreme court order establishing our locus in fighting the first ever case of this magnitude in the state of UP which involved 48 traffickers, 136 rescued victims and 61 brothel seizures (Guria India’s locus was unfairly denied by the district court in spite of Guria India filing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for rescuing the enslaved girls, undertaking the 11-months long spy cam evidence collection as a cosmetic seller by our Founder & Director, being the complainant and witness of the recovery memo in an unprecedented Allahabad rescue case). The trial in the district court had reached the stage of final argument several times but unfortunately 5 judges were transferred almost at the time of delivering the judgments. Aggrieved with the same, Guria India approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court and succeeded in getting directions for the transfer of the trial file to the last judge who had heard the final argument partly. It is also pertinent to mention, that contrary to this harassment we already had a proactive order from the Hon’ble Supreme Court to decide the case expeditiously by fixing minimum 10 dates in a month but the Apex Court’s spirit was ignored.
We are also being regularly nominated by the Allahabad administration for the counselling and home verification of the rescued victims inhabited at Government Protection Home (Women) Agra. Guria India is continuously conducting the counselling and home verification of these rescued inmates belonging to the Indian states of Rajasthan, Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra and our neighbouring country Nepal. After Guria India’s successful submission of several counselling-cum-home verification reports, many of these rescued girls have been restored back to their parents.
5 July, 2020
Rescue and economic support
Rescue and economic support
Program Update As per the last update the Allahabad case and the other 10 new cases, that were taken up emanated into many other cases which took the total to 176 cases. Guria India, since its inception, has always stuck to its end-to-end strategy and based on the same, we follow up each and every case to its logical conclusion. During this reporting period we took up 8 new cases from the district court which emanated into 18 other cases in the form of custodies and bail applications. This takes our total number of cases to 202. Guria India’s integrated legal intervention resulted in conviction of 4 traffickers, 49 bail rejections, safe custody of 11 victims to their biological parents and rejection of 56 fake custody petitions filed by traffickers/brothel keepers. Fake custodies are part of the modus operandi to retraffick the rescued victims to the very same brothels due to gaps in the criminal justice system where as bail rejections, in the absence of state witness protection, thwarts any efforts by the traffickers to threaten the victim witnesses and tamper the evidences. Out of the 202 cases taken up till this reporting period, 172 cases have been disposed and 30 cases are still pending before different courts. Trials are ongoing in 18 cases and 12 cases are pending before the Hon’ble High Court. Out of the 172 disposed cases we achieved success in 117 cases (68%) and the details are as follows:- Bail rejection of traffickers/brothel keepers -49 Safe custody of rescued survivors to their biological parents-11 Rejection of fake custodies by traffickers/brothel keepers-56 Conviction- 4
Conviction Case brief: Malini Sharma (Changed Name) worked hard as a cook in a local school to support her family, living in Varanasi with her husband and daughter, Jyoti (Changed Name). Jyoti was a bright student of class 7th at that time. In the year 2013, when Jyoti was returning after taking a bath, she was trafficked by 3 people from her village, with the intention of forcing her into prostitution. The above mentioned people took her to some unknown place (transit), where she was gang raped, beaten and kept for a few days.
Meanwhile, Malini noticed that her daughter was missing when she returned from work. She immediately informed the police, but was ignored. Troubled by both the kidnapping of her daughter and the lax reaction from the police, she gave a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi on 05/07/13. Amidst trying to find her daughter, Malini and her husband also received telephonic threats from the accused. Due to her letter to the SSP, the police visited her home and registered a “show piece” FIR against unknown accused persons, despite the names of the accused being clearly disclosed by Malini in her letter to the SSP. Due to her experience with the police, Malini believed that the police has colluded with the traffickers, and was losing hope of finding her daughter. Guria India took cognizance of the matter, and initiated the proceedings for the recovery of the minor trafficked victim. We also approached the Hon’ble High Court seeking directions to the investigating officer as well as the Superintendent of Police Varanasi for immediate recovery of the victim and strong legal action against the perpetrators. After the directions issued by the Hon’ble High Court, the police came into action and few accused were arrested. We successfully opposed the bails and got it rejected from the district court as well as the Hon’ble High Court. Further the main accused was arrested after one year of the incidence and the victim was too rescued. After completion of all the legal formalities, the victim was handed over to her family. The story that the victim narrated before the Magistrate would give a goosebumps to anybody. She stated that she was sold in a brothel somewhere in Patna (Bihar). There the brothel owner and the pimps tortured her physically to force her into prostitution. She was beaten up brutally and burnt with cigarette butts. She was raped too by the pimps in the brothel but even then she denied for prostitution. However, police recovered the victim while the traffickers were in a lookout to sell her somewhere else.
After the girl was rescued, Guria India regularly held counselling sessions with Jyoti and her family for proper rehabilitation. To support the family and looking at the threat perception, Guria India provided them with witness protection and livelihood support for reintegration and social sanction. Through Guria's intervention and letters, the police and administration was pressurized to find the accused. Despite having an unnamed FIR, the police identified the main accused persons of the case and filed 2 charge sheets against them. Through regular counselling sessions to Jyoti, Malini and her family, they gave contested statements, both to the police and later in the trial Court. Guria's lawyers were able to establish the possibility of more heinous crimes against Jyoti through her statements, and the trial was held in Sections 363, 366, 368, 376D, 370, 372, 373 IPC and 3/4/5/6 POCSO Act 2012, where as the FIR was only registered in Sections 363, 366 IPC.
Finally all the 4 accused were convicted by the trial court with 20 years rigorous imprisonment in the above said sections. Guria India is also opposing the appeals filed by these accused in the Hon’ble High Court. We have provided livelihood support to the survivor and now, after regular counselling sessions by Guria team members, the family has started living a life with dignity.
3 December, 2019
Informative sessions being conducted
Informative sessions being conducted
22 July, 2019
As mentioned in the past, the Allahabad case was one of the historical episodes/milestone in the long run of Guria. The Allahabad case itself extended to about 148 cases in the form of bails, habeas corpus petitions, custody appeals, bail cancellation applications, release contesting petitions right from the district court to the Hon’ble High Court and further to the Hon’ble Supreme Court which are still being pursued. Besides these Guria took up 10 new cases of sexual assault and successfully was able to heal the wounds of 10 victims aggrieved in the said cases. These cases also extended to a total of 18 new cases in the form of bails and custodies. We ensured the safe and secure custody of the victims in the hands of their lawful and biological parents. At the same time, as a part of our innovative strategy, we were successful in achieving the bail rejection of 12 accused from the session court in the theses new cases. There’s a lot to go through in these new cases as well the bigger one at Allahabad. We are undertaking a process of counseling and trauma treatment with these victims together with their socio-economic assessment. Guria also takes the disbursement of government compensation to these survivors on its top priority. Guria has successfully availed compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to 2 victims out of these 10 from the new cases taken up.
The total number of cases covered and intervened under the program is 176.
Story from the field
Savita (name changed) aged about 15 years and resident of Varanasi was abducted & raped by the accused and his companions. The father of the victim tried hard to search for her whereabouts but all in vain. After a lot pain, he got a complaint registered at the Shivpur police station of district Varanasi under sections of abduction and sexual assault of the minor victim. Guria was following the case from the very beginning and through our regular & tireless effort the minor girl was recovered from the clutches of the traffickers. Guria ensured the safe and secure custody of the minor girl into the hands of her legal and biological parents. The investigation is still going on in the said case and letters are being moved for the arrest of the accused responsible for the crime. Guria’s effort has also lead to the disbursement of Rs. 1. Lakh compensation to the victim. At present the victim is living happily with her family and she is very positive regarding her future. Due to Guria’s support, she is now in a very strong and empowered position to brighten her future. Currently we are holding regular sessions with her and her family so that we could counsel them and help them adopt the best option of livelihood which would make them stand with a much more stronger feet in the mainstream society.
|What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?||140|
|What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date||176|
|Village/City/State where project is located||Allahabad|
|Total Budget for the project for FY18-19||700000|
|Total Expenses for the project YTD||660000|
30 October, 2018
Guria India's Update
Guria has been making deep effects in the lives of some girl children through this program.
Guria was the first to expose the trafficking of 57 girls from the Government Shelter Home in Agra. This lonely struggle to establish the truth was further corroborated by two new major revelations of sexual exploitation in shelter homes at Muzaffarpur in Bihar state and Devariya in UP state.
In addition to documentary evidences, we were successful in ensuring deposition of 12 prosecution witnesses, including guria's testimony in court. After final hearing and submission of written argument in the matter, the trial court sentenced the Superintendent of the protection home with life imprisonment (till the end of her life) under section 370 of the Indian Penal Code for the first time in the country. This was also the first ever conviction in the country of any superintendent of protection home in the context of recent nationwide revelations of rape, murder and trafficking of the inmates.
Story from the field
Guria in coordination with the district administration Allahabad rescued about 140 victims from the Allahabad red light area. Thereafter, these victims were inhabited in Government Protection Home Agra for their rehabilitation process which was being done by the State. The Superintendent, in collusion with the traffickers/brothel keepers, re-trafficked 57 victims from the Home. Investigation was done and prosecution against the Superintendent was initiated on the written complaint by Guria to the State and other higher authorities. After completion of trial, Superintendent of Government Protection Home was sentenced for her whole life under section 370 of the Indian Penal Code.
Much before the revelations at Muzaffarpur and Deoria, Guira had exposed the trafficking racket in government protection home, testified and advocated in the matter in the trial court. Guria was attacked by the criminals in the process of getting her three bails rejected from the district and high court and while testifying. This was also the first ever conviction in the country of any superintendent of protection home in the context of recent nationwide revelations of rape, murder and trafficking of the inmates.This conviction has created a deterrent for other members of this organized crime and has also set a precedent for others.
|Expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19||57|
|Number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program this year||57|