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Location of Internship: Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Greatest Public Health Lesson:
I learned the importance of altering structures and community perceptions in order to affect change at the individual level.
I conducted an internal evaluation of Durbar’s antitrafficking program to assess the experiences of sex workers who serve on self-regulatory boards (SRBs). I conducted in-depth interviews with women serving on SRBs in five red light areas in Kolkata. The objectives of my project were to assess how the SRBs could be more effective at identifying and repatriating trafficked persons, and to document the ways in which sex work communities in Kolkata have changed since the inception of Durbar’s anti-trafficking program. I also collected information about the women’s pathways to sex work and the ways in which being a leader in Durbar has affected their personal life and work.
Trekking through the monsoon rain and mud to visit a school for sex workers’ children.