With more than 10,000 women trapped in prostitution, currently, only 2% (Freeset and similar organisations combined) have had an opportunity to choose freedom. Add to this the fact that young girls are being trafficked from villages into this neighbourhood every day and one begins to understand the scope and gravity of the situation.
A broader strategy is needed – beyond just one business. Freeset has proven that a business approach to freedom works. The next phase must leverage this approach by multiplying this model and exploring new ones – at both the source and destination of human trafficking.
Mina Satra, one of the 20 original Freeset women has a vision of freedom for 10,000 women. One business, regardless of its success, will not be able to fulfill this vision. Offering jobs to a few more women every month while thousands remain trapped in prostitution with much more entering the trade daily cannot be the sole strategy. A strategy of multiplication must be developed with many freedom businesses offering economic choice to thousands of women.
Freeset provides choice for women who have been through the horrors of sex slavery at a destination and given the neighbourhood the company has a moral mandate to continue to grow. The question has to be asked though, “why wait until little girls are stolen and sold into prostitution?” Is it okay to wait until girls are taken from their villages, put into brothels, robbed of their innocence and their lives changed forever? Of course not! Both the source and destination need to be addressed. We must continue to keep working at the “bottom of the cliff” in Sonagacchi and other red light areas but at the same time build fences at the top to prevent the vulnerable from being trafficked in the first place. Choice through business needs to be on offer to women and girls at the source as well. A more powerful freedom story is one in which a girl is never stolen and never sold in the first place.
The Freeset Business Incubator has been established to multiply freedom opportunities and therefore freedom businesses at source and destination. We want to help and resource anyone who wants to do the same.
Currently, we are in the phase of evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Hence we are not accepting any application for the program at present.