24th Yudhvir Memorial Award
Dr. Sunitha Krishnan
For her extraordinary achievement in the rescue, restoration and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking and her exemplary care and support of HIV children. by The Trustees of Yudhvir Foundation
Dr. Sunitha Krishnan’s passion for social work manifested itself at the young age of 8 when she started teaching dance to mentally challenged children. Reacting to a personal traumatic experience at 15, she decided to devote her life to safeguard women against sexual violence including trafficking.
In 1996, she co-founded the anti-trafficking organization named Prajwala in Hyderabad.
In 2001, in collaboration with the Hyderabad Police, she started the first-ever Crisis Counseling Centre in Afzalgunj Police Station.
Through Prajwala, Sunitha has pioneered a comprehensive approach to the problem of trafficking of women. This includes awareness, prevention, rescue, health and education, rehabilitation and reintegration, and legal and policy advocacy for trafficked women.
Today Prajwala is the largest anti-trafficking shelter in the world. Its “second generation” prevention program operates in 17 centres and it has saved thousands of children from entering the flesh trade.
Dr. Sunitha Krishnan’s campaign has had nation-wide and international impact. In India some far reaching policy changes in policy and legal procedures have resulted from her sustained advocacy.
Her work has won her over thirty national and international awards including the Stree Shakti Award by Govt. of India (2003), Perdita Houston International Human Rights Award by United Nation (2006), and Outstanding Woman Award by National Commission for Women India (2013), in recognition of her exemplary crusade for social change.
Acknowledging her trail – blazing crusade, the trustees of the Yudhvir Foundation feel honoured in conferring the 24thannual Yudhvir Memorial Award on Dr. Sunitha Krishnan. They wish her success in her vision of a trafficking – free society.