Hello, my name is Radha Godkar, and I am 13 years old. When I was younger, my parents made it a point to shield me from the horrors of the world. I always got mad at them. I did not understand why I could not go to the park without an adult, even if it was two blocks down. I did not understand why my mom burst into tears the time I did it anyway. But then I heard about what children are facing all around the world. Human Trafficking. When my school gave me an opportunity to research the gruesome topic, I took it. While researching, I stumbled upon a book called SOLD, by Patricia McCormick, about a girl named Lakshmi, from Nepal, around my age. She was sucked into the horrors of child trafficking without even realizing what was happening. That is what lead me to found KAANYA (Girl Child). If a girl has education, she can fight back.
After doing thorough research on the topic, and many foundations that fight against it, I looked into how I can personally try speak out. I have been using, and will continue using KAANYA as my voice. My voice to speak to those who are in need, and my voice to speak to those who are indifferent toward this cause. After all, if I was sitting there, at that park, two blocks down the street, without my mom, and something happened... I would need a voice too.
Although I am just a young girl, I can make a difference. In Mahatma Gandhi's words, "The future depends on what we do in the present". I intend on trying my level best to do as much as I can in the present, so that little girls do not have to worry about letting go of their mother’s hand in a crowd. While discussing this topic over dinner with my dad, he told me about the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. One of his patients is heavily involved with it. I researched the Coalition’s website and was impressed with the work that has been done. I am currently raising funds to support two schools in India (one school is home to predominantly orphaned children, and the other is a blind school), but this topic of human trafficking was so compelling to me that I decided to divert a few funds to this cause.
I hope to someday become a spokesperson for this topic and make a difference in the lives of many unfortunate girls caught in this horrific crime. Unfortunately, since India is possibly the world capital of human trafficking, and my projects involve teenage girls in India, I am hoping that the knowledge gained from the working with the Coalition will help me prevent cases like Lakshmi's in the future.