Girls for The Last Girl is a U.S.-based organization created to support the work of Apne Aap, a grassroots Indian organization founded by Ruchira Gupta that empowers girls with the resources to resist and end sex-trafficking. Founded by a small group of students, we work with our members and supporters to carry out a two-part mission:
- Support the Delhi Centre for the Last Girl. The Delhi Center for the Last Girl is a safe space affiliated with a local school on the Delhi-Haryana border. Girls from different castes and communities, that are trapped in inter-generational prostitution, are enrolled into the school and supported with life-skills and homework by Apne Aap staff members. They also receive meals, vocational training and legal assistance at the school premises out of school hours with the help of the Apne Aap team. The girls and their mothers are assisted by Apne Aap staff to get birth certificates, caste certificates, and food ration cards. This in turn enables them to get low cost food, low cost health care and low-cost housing, creating an exit pathway out of prostitution or reducing the risk to prostitution.
Weekly writing, dance, craft and open-mike sessions provide a space for self-expression. A peer-run Girls Club teaches and empowers members to protect themselves and others against prostitution, forced marriages, and trafficking. Girls and their mothers receive receive legal help to file cases against their traffickers.
- Advocate for inclusion of The Last Girl in the U.N. development goals and national agendas across the world.
The Delhi Center for the Last Girl is a safe space located in the heart of Delhi. Girls from different caste-ghettoes who are victims of sex- and labor-trafficking are brought to the Center every day. Here, children of prostituted women and those at risk of forcible coercion into sex trafficking receive vocational training, informal education classes, and legal assistance. They are helped to obtain birth certificates and other government subsidy cards. Without the Center’s assistance, these girls and their daughters are at high risk for conscription into prostitution, child marriage, child labor or all three.
In addition to meals and medical services, girls are provided with an educational curriculum and marketable skills such as computer, video and sewing classes. They also have access to a range of recreational activities including art and dance lessons. Weekly writing and open-mike sessions provide a space for self-expression. A peer-run Girls Club teaches and empowers members to protect themselves and others against prostitution, forced marriages, and trafficking, and introduces basic civic privileges such as government IDs and subsidies. Additionally, girls receive legal help to file cases against their traffickers.
ABOUT THE LAST GIRL
The Last Girl is poor, young and neglected by society and development interventions. She exists in every culture in the world, but remains last one to receive social, legal or economic support. We believe that when empowered through community, education and decision-making power, she will thrive and pass on the benefits to those around her. For more on The Last Girl, check out this insightful article by Apne Aap founder Ruchira Gupta about her time traveling in India with Gloria Steinem.
ABOUT RUCHIRA GUPTA
Ruchira Gupta has helped more than 20,000 girls, women and their family members in red-light areas and the slums of India over the past 12 years via her NGO Apne Aap. Her work is described in Nick Kristof’s New York Times op-ed “21st Century Slavery,” and his book Half the Sky, and it forms the basis for the Lucy Liu-directed movie, Meena detailing Ruchira’s rescue of a girl from prostitution in Bihar. Gloria Steinem has blogged about Ruchira’s work in a-constant-battle-against-the-sale-of-bodies-in-bihar in The New York Times.
Gupta testified before the U.S. Senate prior to the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000, and lobbied with other activists during the formulation of the U.N.’s Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, resulting in the first U.N. instrument to address human trafficking in Article 9.
She addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the subject of human trafficking in both 2008 and 2009. It 2007 she was awarded the Abolitionist Award from the U.K.’s House of Lords. In 2009 she was honored with the Clinton Global Citizen Award. She has opened groundbreaking avenues within India for survivors to communicate their ideas by rallying their voices for the successful passage of Section 370 I.P.C., India’s first law on trafficking after the infamous bus rape of Dec. 2012.
LEARN ABOUT THE LAST GIRL
For more about Apne Aap and Ruchira Gupta, please check out their website.