Lalitha Shedigar Achyutha Nayak

Project Manager, SMS Center and Vice-President, Society for Participatory Integrated Development

India

Lalitha Nayak’s journey to eliminate human trafficking began three decades ago when she visited the red-light district in the heart of Delhi to speak with women employed in its brothels. She gradually built relationships of trust with the women and discovered that the majority of the prostitution that occurred in the brothels was forced.

This led her to establish a center for children of women working in the red-light district that offers child nutrition services, health care, education and placement in residential schools. Open 24/7, Society for Participatory Integrated Developed (SPID-SMS) is a safe, protected space for children. The organization also supports women working in brothels byoffering counseling, health services, and education on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. In 2016, Ms. Nayak started a home for girls aged 18 and above who are at-risk of being trafficked.

Ms. Nayak co-authored a publication on AIDS and prostitution in India; conducted a study of Delhi’s red-light district; and has prepared educational materials on the issues of human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, violence against women, and the sexual exploitation of children. Ms. Nayak serves as a resource for educational and training institutes on issues related to gender, children, and human trafficking.