Powai is proud of you,Priti!

Believe it or not, 7500 red light area children have benefited from her compherhensive intervention , 1220 children removed from the red light area for long term residential care and development, 650 children at any time covered under Children Affected by AIDS/ Orphans and other Vulnerable Children project,  700 children covered at any time under Educational Support Programme, 300 children  on any night taking shelter in the Night Care Centres, average 60 specially distressed victim women availing the benefit of 3 meals a day and 4000 women who have so far benefited from Prerna,headed by our very own Powaite Priti Patkar, who silently works for a great cause.

There are over 1000 rescued minor girls benefiting from specialized psycho social counseling and other comprehensive services facilitating rehabilitation and reintegration, shelter homes run entirely or in collaboration with others by Prerana, 100 victim women registered under Self Help Groups with their bank accounts and group savings are a few indicators of her contributions.

By Elsie Gabriel

The Gold Medalist of Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai of 1986 Priti is accredited with several pathbreaking social interventions for the protection and dignity of children and women victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Priti born in 1964 in Mumbai started her intervention in the ill famous red light area of Kamathipura in 1986 where the exploitation of women and children was ultimate and the situation grossly neglected by the state and the civil society alike. Today Prerana the voluntary organization started by her has a wide spectrum of social intervention measures to address the larger issue of CSE&T comprehensively.

World’s first Night Care Shelter and one in the midst of a large red light area, first Institutional Placement Programme, first comprehensive Education Support Programme for the red light area children, first Network of Anti Trafficking Organizations, first comprehensive programme for AIDS Affected Children, are some of these accomplishments. Her intervention under Children Affected by AIDS programme was adjudged and documented by Washington University as one of World’s 7 best interventions of working with AIDS affected persons.

She has to her credit the largest number of legal interventions and Writ Petitions in the country to protect the rights and dignity of the children and women victims of CSE&T. As the champion of these children and women she has taken on many mighty including the Bar Owners’ Association and a number of traffickers.

The Government of India was amongst the first to acknowledge her work and incorporate the programmes measures pioneered and standardized by her in the first National Plan of Action 1998 against trafficking of children and women. The United Nations invited her to speak before the United Nations Congress at Vienna in April 2000 as the Best Practice of working with the women victims of violence when the Optional protocol against Organized Crime was being finalized. Priti was invited as a Resource Person for the World AIDS Congress in Yokohama in as early as 1993 and at the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held at Yokohama Japan in 2000.

Recipient of several Awards such as Young Achiever Award 2000 of the Indo American Society, Late Kalpana Chawla Award of 2003, Rotary Club of Bombay Outstanding Woman of the Year 2003, Lions Club International Excellence Award 2005.She was received the Times foundation award on International Women’s Day 2007. Priti has also been appointed on various prestigious Committees such as of the National Commission for Women, Maharashtra State Commission for Women etc. Preran was received the Star Foundation (UK)award on October 2009  for best practices in Child Protection.She has been  awarded  the  Govt. of Maharashtra’s Ahilyabai Holkar Award in 2010

She has 7 books and several research reports to her credit some of them published/ released by National Commission for Women, UNICEF, UNDP, USAID/FHI and others sponsored by Groupe Development France, Concern India Foundation, USAID, etc Priti has created and heads an organization with over 55 full  and part time staff, several visiting professionals,  and innumerable volunteers. UNIFEM, UNICEF, UNDP, USAID, FHI- USA , Dept of U. S. Govt., ASSKAM – Switzerland, Groupe Development -France, Stitching Geron- the Netherlands, American Jewish World Service -New York, Global Fund for Children -Washington, Association of Education & Development USA, all proudly quote Prerana as their partner.  On the domestic front she has worked with Govt. of India, Govt. of Maharashtra, National Commission for Women, Maharashtra State Commission for Women,  and several others have formally  supported her work.

By Elsie Gabriel