Shahi Exports and KMIT partner to support at-risk women against poverty, human trafficking
Bhubaneshwar – 21 March 2023: Shahi Exports and Know Me India Trust (KMIT) today have announced a partnership to support vulnerable and at-risk women in India against poverty and human trafficking. The partnership implements ‘Project Swabhimaan,’ which provides life skills training, sector-specific technical training, and job opportunities or support in opening a small business to women from vulnerable social and economic communities, particularly those at risk of human trafficking and exploitation. The program will also provide mentorship and motivation to encourage and support women in their journey toward financial stability and independence.
The partnership furthers the joint vision of both organizations, creating a sustainable and direct employment pathway for the most disadvantaged and at-risk women in Jharsuguda, Odisha. The pilot program launched here in Odisha intends to train, educate, and prepare women from disadvantaged communities with limited access to stable employment. Upon completion of the training, the participants will be offered job opportunities at Shahi – India’s largest manufacturer and exporter of ready-made garments.
Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational Development at Shahi Exports, said, “We are delighted to partner with Know Me India Trust to create this opportunity for women from disadvantaged communities. Our company is built on the foundation of empowerment of women and a spirit to contribute towards the development of communities in which we operate. This partnership is aligned with our efforts to promote sustainable livelihoods, fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, and provide opportunities for women to become financially independent.”
Data suggest that about eight million people in India are trapped in human trafficking. The number of persons trafficked for forced labor in India is 20 to 65 million. And 90% of the trafficking occurs domestically, intrastate, or interstate. The joint initiative by Shahi Exports and KMIT is particularly significant in this context as it seeks to support vulnerable and at-risk women against poverty and human trafficking by supporting them in providing training and livelihood.
Supei Liu, Program and Development Board Advisor to KMIT, said, “We believe that sustainable employment is one of the most effective ways to prevent exploitation of vulnerable individuals and re-exploitation of survivors of human trafficking and other forms of slavery. Our partnership with Shahi aims to address this and help at-risk women achieve economic agency and mobility. We are sure that quality training, stable incomes, and a safe work environment will provide women with opportunities to acquire the skills and access the resources they need to achieve economic independence, dignity, and freedom.
The project will ensure that 100% of the vulnerable and at-risk women going through the program will experience a 65% increase in income and sustain this growth over the next two years. KMIT is set to take on the challenge of supporting the women in the Swabhimaan program in achieving economic security while successfully breaking the cycle of exploitation and human trafficking.
KMIT works in communities with some of the highest incidences of both labor trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), where women and girls are economically marginalized due to poverty, caste discrimination, gender inequality, and low capacity to resist economic shocks.