Carpe Diem to Host Poets and Writers Evening: A
Fundraiser in Support of Arz and Victims of Human
Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. It is also a time of giving, and giving freely. Carpe Diem-The Art and Learning Centre in Majorda has combined an opportunity to give with the treat of a literary evening with Goa’s noted poets and writers. Poets and Writers Evening: A Fundraiser in Support of Arz and Victims of Human Trafficking will be held at Carpe Diem on the 9th of December 2018 from 6.30pm to 8pm. Entry is free and those who wish to attend are invited to donate generously to support ARZ.
ARZ, or Anyay Rahit Zindagi (Life without Injustice), is a Goa based organisation that rescues victims of trafficking for commercial sex work. A group of professionals from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) established the organisation in 1997, and the first project undertaken by ARZ was the rehabilitation of commercial sex workers in Baina, Goa, in 1998. Arunendra Kumar Pandey is one of the founders and director of ARZ and has been working tirelessly with his team to alter the course of life for hapless victims of human trafficking.
As ARZ is the nodal NGO of the Integrated Anti Human Trafficking Unit for the state of Goa, the police employ the assistance of the organisation by informing it of a victim’s/ victims’ presence in a particular location. Together, the police and the ARZ team go in to extricate the victim. The ARZ team consists of a trained counsellor, a lawyer and social workers to ensure the protection of the victim’s human rights and to counsel her. Since many of the victims are not from the state of Goa, the NGO makes arrangements to send the victims back to their home countries and states after providing medical and psychiatric assistance. Those victims whose families reject them or victims who do not desire to return home are transferred to NGOs or government institutions within their home states for rehabilitation.
Victims of sex trafficking that remain in Goa have the option of working at the Swift Wash industrial laundry unit at Sancoale industrial estate (established in 2006). It is a non-shelter-based programme for the economic rehabilitation that also offers employment to brothel-keepers and pimps besides victims of human trafficking. Its employees can earn a salary of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 per month, avail of Employees' State Insurance (ESI), provident fund, crèche facilities, buses for pick-up and drop, etc. In fact, for the first month before receiving her salary, a victim’s expenses for that month are covered by ARZ.
ARZ has various programmes in place to curb sexual exploitation such as Ankur for children, and Prabhat, which provides rehabilitative and counselling services to victims housed at the government’s Protective Home. The organisation, which was awarded the Stree Shakti Puraskar Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Award in 2015, conducts workshops to create awareness and disseminate information to reduce the problem of human trafficking and to check sexual exploitation.
Poets and Writers Evening: A Fundraiser in Support of Arz and Victims of Human Trafficking promises to be an evening packed with delightful readings by some of Goa’s favourite writers and poets. Savia Viegas is the author of Tales from the Attic, Let me tell you about Quinta, Abha Nama and Eddi and Diddi and is a Fulbright Scholar (2003-2004). Founder of the Mustard Seed Company, Isabel de Santa Rita Vás has had an eventful career as a professor of English Literature and a playwright with some of her plays published in Frescoes in the Womb: Six Plays from Goa. A writer, a poet, and an editor, Manohar Shetty’s poems have made him a nationally renowned poet with books of poems that include Domestic Creatures: Poems and Personal Effects. Author of Afterlife: Ghost Stories from Goa and The Delicate Balance of Little Lives, Jessica Faleiro has become a regular on the Goan literary circuit with vision board and creative writing workshops.
The other prominent writers and poets who will be reading at the fundraiser are Rochelle D’Silva, Salil Chaturvedi, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, Heta Pandit, Jose Lourenço, Brian Mendonça and Suneeta Peres Da Costa.
Passionate literature lovers are welcome to attend Poets and Writers Evening: A Fundraiser in Support of Arz and Victims of Human Trafficking with a generous heart to better the lives of those less privileged and victims of sexual exploitation.