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Dance therapy helps trafficked minors in Mumbai leave past behind

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) attempts to address emotions through the use of physical movements.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
June 27, 2016 3:15:19 am

A MINOR trafficked into the city from Bangladesh is determined to ensure other girls do not get trapped like she did. She is one of the six victims between the age group of 14-18 years lodged in the Special Rehabilitation Centre in Deonar. The girls recently completed a nine-month programme of Dance Movement Therapy, which they say helped them deal with their experience. They are now raring to work against sexual trafficking of minors.

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) attempts to address emotions through the use of physical movements. It was used at the Centre for the first time by NGOs Khula Aasman and Kolkata Sanved. Initially, the programme started with 12 girls, with sessions at intervals of eight to 10 days. While other participants left the centre, the long repatriation the six needed ensured they completed the programme. On June 22, they received certificates for their training.

“These girls suffer from loneliness. They feel that they are not supported and are left out with the feeling of shame and guilt. There is a need to give them a non-judgmental space.


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We understand that our mind and body is connected, and through DMT, we try to address emotions at a physical level,” said Sarita Ganesh, director of Khula Aasman.

For instance, after the initial apprehension that the girls showed in being part of any programme at the Centre, they were encouraged to release their anger through DMT, Ganesh says. Many find ways to express emotions from their past, which have experiences of abuse.

“The trainees were determined to become trainers. They plan to go back to their country and help other girls caught in the trafficking trade,” said Renell, a trainer with Kolkata Sanved. She said the girls also feel a sense of responsibility towards other girls in the home, determined to ensure that they too are assisted in their journey out of their past.

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