Odanadi is an Indian organisation from Mysore in Karnataka state. It works specifically to combat human trafficking, child exploitation and sexual violence. The organisation rescues children and women who have been trafficked and provides care for those that it has freed. The children (mostly girls and young women, but increasingly also boys) receive education and are helped to re-adapt to society in order to lead independent lives.
While I lived in London, I was a trustee of Odanadi UK for one year. I amongst others helped organise the worldwide event Yoga Stops Traffick (YST) in London in 2011. YST is a one-day event that was started in 2010. It unites yoga practitioners across the globe to take a stand against human trafficking.
The event takes place yearly and keeps on growing every year. In 2012 over 140 yoga groups across the world – from Mysore, to New York and Tokyo – undertook 108 sun salutations to raise awareness and funds for victims of human trafficking in India. More than 3,000 participants helped raise £40,000, and all profits went directly to pioneering Indian anti-trafficking organization Odanadi Seva Trust, to support their work rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human trafficking, sexual violence and towards empowering vulnerable communities.
On March 9th 2013 I helped organise the event in Mysore India that was held in front of the Mysore palace. The event was led by the children of Odanadi who every year count the participants through the sun salutations. Below is a video from the event last month:
Odandi offers yoga as one of the tools of rehabilitation for the children, but volunteers from many different countries also help in training the children in various fields such as health and nutrition, cooking, painting and gardening in order to give them skills that are useful in daily life. During my most recent trip to Mysore I have been involved in a permaculture project at Odanadi with the aim of creating a sustainable food source for the children’s home and of teaching the children how to grow fruit and vegetables in an environmentally friendly way.
Please do consider donating to this wonderful organisation which ver the past 17 years, in conjunction with a wide network of social workers and supporters, has rescued over 1600 women and children from brothels, domestic servitude, destitution, beggary and sexual exploitation. The founders Stanly and Parashuram are personally responsible for the capture and imprisonment of at least 42 traffickers across India, and have set up almost 30 village surveillance or ‘vigilante’ groups to raise awareness and stem the flow of human traffic at its roots.