Sitar Player and Composer Narrates Film Telling Untold Stories of Sex Slavery in India
Press Release – LONDON, Sept. 14, 2017 — Anoushka Shankar—Grammy-award nominated musician, daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar and outspoken sexual abuse survivor—will join filmmakers Chris Davis and Casey Allred for the world premiere of “Stolen Innocence” at the Raindance Film Festival. The documentary tells the true stories of young women who escaped from sex slavery in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
“The sex trafficking and abuse of young women in India is a pernicious and under-reported business,” said Shankar, who narrates the film. “I am grateful to Effect.org for bringing awareness and attention to the fore and hope that my contribution to the film has given a voice to those oppressed, and will encourage others to take action on their behalf.”
India is an international human trafficking hub, according to the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, funneling tens of thousands of women and girls each year into the illicit sex industry from Nepal and Bangladesh, but also Europe, Central Asia and Burma. The Ministry of Women and Children reports that 19,223 women and children were trafficked in India last year, a 25 percent rise from 2015.
Allred, who has been doing humanitarian work since 2009, said he felt compelled to uncover India’s pernicious sex trafficking rings when he became aware of them while building schools in the area. He teamed up with Davis to tell the stories of young women who escaped a life of sex slavery, put their traffickers behind bars and are sharing their stories for the first time.
“Awareness and action around sex trafficking are critical,” said Allred, who produced the film. “There is a solution to this problem, and that solution is all of us. With every story told and every survivor heard, we come closer to preventing this living nightmare for others. My hope is that this film will inspire people to take action—to liberate these girls and women and give them the tools they need to build better lives.”
Made in partnership with Effect.org, an international nonprofit that works to provide affordable education in India, “Stolen Innocence” will screen twice at Raindance London: Sunday, Sept. 24 and Thursday, Sept. 28. There will be a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmakers after the Sunday screening. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.calendar.raindancefestival.org/films/stolen-innocence.
Effect.org is an international nonprofit that operates low-cost private schools and leads global expeditions that create opportunities for vulnerable children and their communities. Founded in 2011 by Casey Allred, Effect.org’s Lean School model has enabled the launch of three schools in India and the education of nearly 100 students. From volunteer expeditions to brand new education facilities, Effect.org is working to make quality, affordable education accessible to everyone. For more information, visit www.effect.org.
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