Mental health of trafficked survivors matters!

May 29, 2023 by MT Bureau

Varalika Mishra

Pallabi Ghosh says, “Mental health is critical as girls and women are constantly stigmatized, their family don’t even understand the trauma they went through, and there are severe consequences.” Born and raised in Lumding, Assam, Ghosh has rescued over more than 7,000 girls and boys from trafficking. According to her, trafficking greatly impacts the individual’s mental health. She has rescued hundreds of women and children from child marriage, forced marriage, child labour and prostitution. “Trafficking is a heinous crime. Most people get lured into it for a job, marriage, or love. They are innocent people who do not realise the consequences of what they are getting into. They come from vulnerable areas of remote India. My work focuses on post-rescue rehabilitation, where we counsel trafficking survivors and monitor them constantly for behavioural issues. Every 15 days, I analyze their physical, social, and psychological status and gradually reduce the frequency once we see healing. Just rescue doesn’t ensure recovery,” she adds.

According to reports, most girls die by suicide due to the discrimination they face after being rescued. According to Pallabi, the real work starts post-rescue as that is when a supportive environment needs to be provided to the survivors for holistic development, and it is not an easy job to implement. Pallabi is the founder of Impact and Dialogue Foundation which helps in implementing various workshops for the survivors and in sensitizing the system about trafficking.

Impact and Dialogue Foundation provides destigmatization workshops for the members of the system, like families, social welfare officers, police, and other stakeholders, ensuring that they look at the survivor with dignity. It is crucial to realize that survivors are not responsible for getting trafficked in society. “I need much assistance in making people understand that trafficked survivors must heal and reliving the stories repeatedly through different types of questioning by the media and courts further aggravates their pain,” says Ghosh.
Impact and Dialogue Foundation creating a difference

“Our work is creating a difference. We have girls coming up sharing their stories, being a part of the policy and decision-making process, are a part of our stitching centres, along with kitchen gardens and self-help groups. They earn some money which gives them empowerment. We conduct vocational training and arrange for the survivors to learn computer skills and English-speaking courses to build their confidence further. We drive various workshops to help them get skilled and represent themselves in society,” adds Pallabi. With Impact & Dialogue Foundation, she aims to create awareness about trafficking of all forms. Contact +91-9811737441, Email- for any assistance.