Sunitha Krishnan is a well known Indian social activists working against human trafficking. She is famous for helping rape victims and their children in rehabilitation.
Sunitha was born on Friday, 23 May 1969 (age 50 years; as in 2019), in Mumbai. Her zodiac sign is Gemini. She completed her schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya Waltair in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Later, she joined St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore and Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka for completing Master of Social work and PhD.
Family, Caste & Husband
She was born into a Palakkad Malayali family. Her father’s name is ‘Raju Krishnan,’ who worked as an employee in the Department of Survey, India, and her mother’s name is ‘Nalini Krishnan.’ She got married to the Indian Film Director ‘Rajesh Touchriver.’
Since her childhood, she wanted to work for the welfare of society. When she was eight years old, she started dance training for the mentally challenged children, and after four years, she started a small school where she used to teach the kids of the slum area. An incident changed her life when she was 15 years old, and working on a neo-literacy camp for the Dalit society. A gang of eight men brutally raped her and hit her so hard that she became partially deaf in one year. Although Sunitha was shattered after the incident, she gathered all her energy and took this incident as a source of motivation. She started working for the welfare of women; especially, the rape victims in India. Her parents were not happy with her lifestyle, so, she decided to move to Hyderabad and joined the People’s Initiative Network (PIN) in Hyderabad. This institution was founded by Brother Varghese Theckanath, who was a member of Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel and was himself a social activist too.
In 1996, Sunitha helped the prostitutes of Mehboob ki Mehandi, a red light area in Hyderabad, in evacuating and providing them employment, she also started a school in the evacuated brothel. Later, this school was named as ‘Prajwala,’ which is based on five pillars- Prevention, Protection, Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration. Her non-profit organisation has helped more than 12000 victims of prostitution in evacuating and starting a new life. Prajwala has also helped children of such victims to educate them and provide them with a better future. The survivors are provided training in carpentry, welding, printing, masonry, and housekeeping.
In 2003, she drafted some recommendations on the rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking, which was passed by the Andhra Pradesh Government as a ‘Policy for Rescue & Rehabilitation of Victims of Trafficking.’ In 2009, her speech on human trafficking at the Infosys Campus of Mysore in TED India’s official conference got viral (it is available on YouTube channel of TED India). In 2011, she got an opportunity to work as an advisor for the Government in drafting Kerala’s Nirbhaya Policy for Women and Children, but she later resigned in 2014; as she was not satisfied with their working method. Later, she was reappointed in 2015 and more authority was given to her to make decisions.
She organised seminars at both national and international levels to educate people more about human trafficking. In 2012, she was invited on Star Plus show Satyamev Jayate (hosted by Aamir Khan), where she talked about her non-profit organisation ‘Prajwala.’ Sunitha and her husband made several documentaries on human trafficking, HIV AIDS, Sheikh Marriages, incest, and prostitution. She published several books on the same topics. In 2013, the Andhra Pradesh State Women’s Commission appointed her as a member in drafting India’s new bill on rape. She worked with Crises Counseling Centre in Afzalgunj Police Station, Hyderabad to stop human trafficking. In an interview, she revealed that her journey was not that easy as she faced life-threatening attacks and threat messages for helping the rape victims.
Her campaign ‘#ShameTheRapist,’ where people used to share the rape videos on WhatsApp was criticised by a section of the society.
Awards & Honours
- Ashoka Fellowship, 2002.
- Stree Shakti Puraskar, Government of India, 2003.
- CNN-IBN Real Hero Award, Reliance Foundation, 2008.
- Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes from the US Department of State, 2009.
- Tejaswini Award, FICCI, 2010.
- Human Rights Award, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Washington DC, 2011
- Godfrey Phillips National Amodini Award, 2013.
- Mahila Thilakam Award, Government of Kerala, 2013.
- Outstanding Woman Award, National Commission for Women, 2013.
- Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice, 2014
- People of the Year award from LIMCA Book of Records, 2014.
- Padma Shri in the field of Social Work, 2016.
- Franco-German Award For Human Rights & Rule of law, 2017
Note: She has many more awards and honours to her name.
20-4-34, III Floor, Behind Charminar Bus Stand, Charminar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
- She was born as a disabled child, her legs were turned back, but after regular physiotherapy sessions, she was able to walk normally.
- In the initial days of her organisation, ‘Prajwala,’ she faced the financial crisis for which she had to sell her jewellery and utensils.
- The film, Anamika, was co-produced by Sunitha, which is a part of the curricula of the National Police Academy, Hyderabad; whereas the other film ‘Naa Bangaaru Talli’ has won 3 National Awards in 2014.
- After her #ShameTheRapist campaign in 2015, her landlords asked her to shift the Economic Rehabilitation Unit, Hyderabad for which she crowdfunded from goCrowdera.com and collected over $225000.
- In 2019, Sunitha appeared in the ‘Karmaveer’ episode (18 October 2019) of Kaun Banega Crorepati 11 (2019) alongwith her husband Rajesh Touchriver.
It's time to raise your voice against the evils of the society. Watch our #KBCKaramveer Sunitha Krishnan share her perspective on the status of women in the current era this Friday at 9 PM only on Sony Prajwala Prajwala Dr.Sunitha Krishnan
Sony Entertainment Television ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಬುಧವಾರ, ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 16, 2019