desivoicegloria_steinem_cove_pageYes, that’s Gloria Steinem and yes, this is a link to Apne Aap. But the connection is apt. Steinem is ‘mother’ to many a feminist organization, and Apne Aap is a fitting daughter.  This book of Steinem’s writings was edited and annotated by Ruchira Gupta, head of Apne Apt, with the goal of spreading Steinem’s works to an Indian audience.

Apne Aap was founded by twenty-two women from Mumbai’s red light district, with a vision of “a world where no woman could be bought or sold.”  Those twenty-two women had been part of an award winning documentary (The Selling of Innocents, 1996) which exposed human trafficking in India and Nepal.

After the documentary those women slowly found solace in each other and, with support from others, began to band together.  Apne Aap’s vision grew;  the women reached out to others trapped in prostitution and organized self-empowerment programs.

Cool-Men-Video-Screen-Shot-215x140-215x140Today none of those twenty-two women are alive; all have been lost to hunger, AIDS, and suicide.  But he work of Apne Aap continues in the communities of West Bengal, Bihar, and Delhi.

I chose Apne Aap as the organizational beneficiary of the 2014 Glimpses of Asia Photo Exhibit and Silent Auction. I am thrilled to do whatever small part we can.  Look up their work and see what you too can do.

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