Helping sex traffic victims through dance
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with members of Kolkata Sanved during a stop in Kolkata earlier this week.
May 8th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

Helping sex traffic victims through dance

By Jill Dougherty reporting from Kolkata

The girls step forward, chanting rhythmically, their breath coming in explosive waves.

At first they look delicate, vulnerable. Their feet are bare. They wear brightly colored tops held with a sash of traditional fabric, and cream pantaloons secured with a saffron belt.

But their vulnerability is suddenly transformed, their arms moving in karate-chop gestures, their voices slashing the air.

These are teenagers who once worked in the sex trade. They live in Kolkata, India, a nation that, according to non-governmental organizations, has approximately 3 million female sex workers. Some of them were trafficked, held against their will. Others were sold into prostitution by their families. Others left the work, only to return to it later, the way an abused woman returns to a spouse who continues to beat her.

The U.S. State Department issues an annual Trafficking in Persons Report, the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts.

In its 2011 report, the department says, "The government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so."

But in these dances you see none of that.

The girls are part of Kolkata Sanved, a dance therapy movement founded in 2004 by Sohini Chakraborty, a dance sociologist and dance activist.

Kolkata Sanved conducts workshops around the world, providing an alternative approach to recovery and healing for victims of violence and trafficking, for mental health patients, for women and children with HIV /AIDS, and other vulnerable people.

"Sanved" means "that which responds to stimulus" and the approach tries to break the barriers of traditional dance, employing body movements to transform victims of sexual abuse into "proactive advocates" for themselves.

The girls came to Kolkata's Cultural Center to perform for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As they began, the visitors who filled the hall fell silent and the secretary's face became a study in concentration as they watched five teenage girls suddenly filled with a power that comes from within.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Eunice Revilla

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    January 27, 2021 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  2. Enrique Dosher

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery (Click on the link in the profile for more details)

    January 27, 2021 at 11:57 am | Reply
  3. Keven Sorvillo

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices

    January 26, 2021 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  4. Jordan Girven

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices

    January 26, 2021 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  5. Fredrick Eiseman

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers

    January 22, 2021 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  6. Booker Kijak

    when it comes to free email, i found gmail to be the best and yahoo the worst`

    January 12, 2021 at 1:29 am | Reply
  7. Susan Montogomery

    Thanks for your own efforts on this site. Gloria take interest in engaging in investigations and it is easy to understand why. A lot of people notice all relating to the compelling method you deliver invaluable tips and hints by means of the blog and as well as strongly encourage participation from others about this idea while our favorite girl is in fact becoming educated a whole lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. You are always doing a dazzling job.

    January 7, 2021 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  8. Create Salepages

    Create affiliate funnels such as Drag and drop, page editor & free flow funnel planner that helps you in creating super amazing pages and optimized sales page. More Details:

    December 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  9. earn passive income fast

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – 100 New Income System Never Before Seen. More details:

    December 26, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  10. Whitney Haneline

    I went over this website and I believe you have a lot of excellent information, bookmarked (:.

    December 20, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  11. detectives privados huesca

    detectives privados san Sebastián de los reyes

    December 12, 2020 at 1:43 am | Reply
  12. Sam

    Mrs Clinton's husband would have loved to accompany her on that trip

    May 30, 2012 at 5:50 am | Reply
  13. Bill Laurance

    Google is now using business reviews to determine business ranking. People are trashing companies with reviews, Complaint sites and Blogs.

    We can help you defend your company by posting positive Reviews, Blogs and creating Websites to take over Search Results and control what people see about your company.

    361-444-3559 for Paid Review Posting Service

    Want FREE Reviews by trading with other companies? Try our new site for Free Reviews and other Posting.

    How do posting positive reviews help in your businesses Google ranking?

    1. Positive reviews increase your business rank by linking important and relevant websites to your website.
    2. A constant stream of positive reviews improves your online reputation.
    3. Positive reviews drive traffic to your business.
    4. Positive reviews restore a tarnished reputation by pushing down negative reviews and links.
    5. Helps protect against competitors or anyone else from attempting to run your ranking.


    Tired of review sites or need Reputation work? Hire us to knock them off the front page of Google under your search term.
    Our company has been in the business of taking over the first page of Google for our clients for 8 years and knocking off complaint sites. We can do the same for your company and review sites.
    We will create special websites and blogs and link them to the 15 thousand websites we already have. These websites will knock the review sites away and replace them with content you control

    May 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply

    Bravo Girls! Well done, my admiration for you all is immeasurable. Let dance take over your life and make you whole once again.

    May 20, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
  15. aaron

    Its great to see the restoration these girls have experienced. Check out to see what is being done for victims of human trafficking here in Colorado!

    May 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  16. daniel

    Dancing seems to help a lot of people. Students who are too shy do any active activities seem to be more relaxed after they dance. Prisoners do massive coordinated dances to release tensions. Here, victims of sexual assault also seem to be coping better through dance. More projects with dance would be better in schools, too. haha. I'm a klutz.

    May 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  17. Satyanarayana Neeli

    It shoud wake up our morale and responsibility.

    May 10, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
  18. semper fi

    If you want to help go to

    May 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  19. Trader

    How much for the one in orange? Not to rent, to buy. She's hot.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Someday

      You obviously do not have a daughter, wife, or woman in your life that means something to you.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • WOW

      Do even know how a woman feels after she's been thru this? How would you feel if that girl in orange was your sister, mother, daughter or even your grandmother? I completely agree with Someday.

      May 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Indian

      Only by someone with your mentality – It will be your sister or mother (not to rent but to BUY) even if she is not HOT.

      May 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  20. Cooze

    Maybe Dieter from 'Sprockets' can give them a hand.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • Debjit

      I wanted to let you know that your reocfltien has hit a chord with a number of my readers. Thanks for letting me share this. Many blessings on you and your work. If you are interested in contributing to future blog series that I do (usually for Lent and Advent) please let me know & send me your email so that I can add you to my writers list.Blessings

      June 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    thats a good development, its will go a long

    May 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to Bill Laurance


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.