Swayangsiddha is a unique initiative to prevent human trafficking and child marriage, spearheaded by the West Bengal Police with active support and participation of community and district administration. Swayangsiddha means self-reliance. The vision is to build networks of aware, alert and pro-active individuals and groups working together to build safe communities to prevent human trafficking and child marriage.
Swayangsiddha groups are being formed with students from Class VIII to colleges. Members of school-level groups like Kanyashree Groups, Swachha groups, Child Cabinets and college student bodies like Gender Equality Cell, Anti Sexual Harassment Cell are part of Swayangsiddha groups. Survivors are also being empowered to lead a life of dignity.
Swayangsiddha groups are submitting reports on their activities, once in every two months. They are sharing the reports through mobile or computer with assistance from the nominated teachers. Updates of outreach programmes, workshops with stakeholders, actions taken by youths, students, police, NGOs, media coverage and success stories are being shared on the website, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube. The initiative has led to improved reporting on child marriage and missing cases. Teachers are getting information from other students and are informing the police. Teachers reported stopping of at least 100+ child marriages and prevention of 10 cases of attempted trafficking in 2017-18.
At the block Level, the Child Protection Committee will hold meetings twice a month, chaired by the BDO, to make sure whether the children of the vulnerable families are getting the facilities. Shikshabandhu, Paralegal volunteers, Anwesha Clinic Counsellor, members of Panchayat or ward will co-operate with the Committee.
A district level meeting under the leadership of DM/ADM will be held every 3 months. There would be a discussion on unresolved issues. The best performing Swayangsiddha Groups would be felicitated once a year by the district administration and the police.