Where We Are

Trafficking of young, usually minor, girls is a very pervasive problem in the old city. The girls are sold into manual and sex labour both in country and to the Gulf. Girls return from their places of slavery with horrifying tales of abuse and torture. It is of especial note that the trafficking of young, usually minor girls is a very pervasive and dangerous problem of the Old City. The girls are sold into manual and sex labour both in country and to the Gulf.

Baqshi Bazar, Sultan Shahi, Old City, Hyderabad is where Shaheen began working. The neighbourhood had been at the centre of violent communal conflicts in the past decades. When Shaheen stepped in, the neighbourhood was empty and desolate, with shells of burnt homes.

The owner of the house in which Shaheen stepped in had fled, run away to escape danger and death. Shaheen had to pick up the pieces and put them together bit by bit to nurture work and friendship. The point and period of initiation and generation happened subsequent to the pogrom in Gujarat in the year 2002. The tragedy evoked a discovery and unearthing of being and identity.

Shaheen is located at the cross point of three distinct Old City communities. The communities are invisible and on the fringes, excluded from interaction and participation. They are the Muslims, the Dalits and Other Backward Caste Hindus. Shaheen’s location is the point of integration and contact, of interaction and participation, of visibility and articulation, an open space that women and children can claim as their own.