Reuniting ‘The Lost Daughters’ of India with their families

Reuniting 'The Lost Daughters' of India with their families

In India, when a woman is rescued from sex trafficking, often families refuse to accept them back because of social stigma and the fear of being shunned by society. ‘The Lost Daughters’ draws attention to this issue that plagues millions of such women in India.

Wunderman Thompson India collaborated with Sanlaap, a Kolkata-based NGO that rescues and rehabilitates sex trafficking survivors, to create ‘The Lost Daughters’ activation during Durga Puja – one of the largest festivals in India that celebrates the homecoming of the Goddess like a daughter.

‘The Lost Daughters’ created an unprecedented festival pavilion (pandal) without the idol of the Goddess to remind of the hypocrisy in India that welcomes the Goddess like the daughter but abandons daughters who were rescued from human trafficking. The festival then went on to become the occasion where rescued daughters were reunited with their families.

Pinaki Ranjan Sinha, Executive Director, SANLAAP, said, “SANLAAP in their long-standing of thirty years has rescued many young girls and women who have been victims of sex trafficking. Due to social stigma, many are refused to be accepted by their families. Through ‘The Lost Daughters’ project, we would like to spread awareness and reach out to the maximum number of people. We want everyone to welcome their daughters as they would welcome the Goddess.”

Chandni Kapur, AVP and Senior Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson Mumbai, “If the horrors of sex trafficking are not bad enough, here are girls whose traumas become uglier after being rescued. This is a conversation we must be having as a society. This is our attempt to raise awareness about the issue to help more daughters come back home with dignity. “

Ashish Pathak, V.P. & Sr. Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson Mumbai, commented, “Trafficking of girls for sex is very common in Asia. Through Sanlaap, we discovered something horrific. Very few of these rescued girls are accepted back home. It’s traumatic to know no one wants you. We wanted to raise awareness about this and urge parents to accept back their lost daughters. Durga Puja became the perfect occasion to deliver this message since the festival is all about celebrating the homecoming of the daughter. And the pandal with the missing idol of Goddess Durga helped highlight the issue. After all, every daughter is a Durga. We want to help raise funds for Sanlaap who is doing some brilliant work in bringing home the lost daughters.”

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