Human Trafficking is modern day slavery
Take a step and show bravery
Don't let the weak cry & plead
It is our support that they need.
Transforming Lives Foundation (previously known as "Operation Rahab" and hereinafter referred to as “TLF”) came into existence in 2010 with the intention of assisting the criminal justice system in India to strengthen the law enforcement response towards the crime of human trafficking and sexual slavery.
TLF's intention is to work towards creating a strong network between law enforcement agencies and its civil society partners thus resulting in effective rescues, successful convictions and most importantly the rehabilitation of victims into mainstream society.
Our directors Ranjeet Chouguley, Manohar Waghela and Avantika Wankhede, have come together with the intention to work towards creating a strong network between the law enforcement agencies and its civil society partners thus resulting in effective rescues, successful convictions and most importantly successful rehabilitation of victims into mainstream society. Having a world where no human trafficking is possible is a far distance but focusing on the mental, physical and emotional impact of this crime on the human security of the countless individual victims is obvious and therefore as responsible members of society we take it upon ourselves to use every possible resource to assist in the rescue of these victims. At the moment, we focus our operations in the western part of India in Thane, Palghar, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai districts of Maharashtra, Vapi and Surat districts in Gujarat and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu.
Some of the success stories
On March 12th, a pimp operating in the Mira Bhayander area sent a photo of a young Nepali girl to our team on “whatsapp” stating that she was a virgin. Our team met with the pimp. Our team spotted a Nepali lady standing across the road with a Nepali girl who appeared to be underage. The pimp demanded INR 150,000 for the girl. Our team agreed and set a day for the rescue operation.
With the help of the then Deputy Superintendent of Police - Mira Bhayander, Shri Suhas Bawache and a vigilant team of police officers, a successful rescue operation was conducted. There were total two underage girls present at the location. The new and unidentified girl was also from Nepal and the other was our targeted victim.
The second girl told us that she was 13 years of age and was the niece of one of the Nepali traffickers and she knew a lot about the network of these people. She knew every girl by name and where each one was sent and when. She gave a lot of information to our team. She was also brought from Nepal and at the time of the rescue operation she was serving in the house as a domestic help. She told us that her aunt physically and verbally abused her often. She was afraid that within a couple of years they would put her in the same trade and she requested us to get her out as well.
Our targeted victim was found to be 17 years of age and was being forced into the trade by her aunt.
On 18th March, with the help of the Child Welfare Committee both the girls were transferred to a shelter home for their protective custody.
(Names have been changed to protect the identities of the survivors)
Pooja, 17 years – In a shelter home she was completing her training of Beauty Parlour, Tailoring, Warli Paintings and doing her studies as well. She now wants to complete her class 10 exams and find a good job in Mumbai because she realizes that her family’s situation in Nepal is such that there would be every chance for being retrafficked again. Pooja has been repatriated back to Nepal where she will complete her studies while she staying in a shelter home and come back to Mumbai to build her life.
Pinky, 13 years - Currently Pinky is also in a shelter home and completing her training of Beauty Parlour, Tailoring, Warli Paintings and doing her studies well. She is still unsure of what she would like to do in the future. She does not want to go back home as she fears that she will be forced by her aunts into prostitution.
On July 13th, 2016 with the help of the informant and police team from the Anti Human Trafficking Unit of Palghar District, Rita (Name has been changed to protect the identity of the survivor) was rescued at 20:40 hrs from a Lodge in the Vasai East area. At the time of the rescue operation, the manager and two other men heard the police breaking the lock on the collapsible grill gate and ran away. The girl had been brought to the lodge by her own mother. They were both found hiding in a secret stairway. The mother was apprehended by the police.
At the time of rescue, our social workers spoke with the girl and found that she was studying in class 7 in an English medium school. She told us she was 14 years of age and was born in 2002. Her birthday was in September and she would complete 14 years then. So that made her age 13 years and 10 months. She told us she was born in Mumbai but her home town was in West Bengal near Howrah station. She could not give the name of the place.
She was forced to get into prostitution as her mother was ill and her father had left them. Even her elder brother who was working as a waiter was not earning enough to support the family as well as take care of her mother's health. When we asked her what her mother was suffering from, she said HIV. Her mother had been in this line of work for a few years. She also told us that she was not regular in going to school as it was very far and in the rains it would become very difficult to travel. She said she hadn’t been to school for the past two weeks.
Her biological father and mother had divorced and her father had a second family. She did not visit him or meet him, but her elder brother aged 17 years often visited him. He was working in a catering business. So sometimes he would be gone for few days at a time. She was living with her mother and a man who lived with them but was not married to her mother.
Rita is currently living in a shelter home and studying. She is happy to be in the company of many other girls her age.
(Names have been changed to protect the identities of these survivors)