Bhopal: An IPS officer who saved thousands of Bedia girls from flesh trade

Bhopal: An IPS officer who saved thousands of Bedia girls from flesh trade

Currently, he is posted as an assistant inspector general of police (AIG) of MP State Industrial Security Force in Bhopal. In 2002, Mishra was posted as Habibganj CSP.

RAJESH THAKURUpdated: Monday, February 06, 2023, 01:09 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh):  Dr Veerendra Mishra is not just another cop. For the past 21 years, this IPS officer has been working to bring smiles on faces of marginalised sections of the society, specially saving women of Bedia community from being pushed into flesh trade. This in addition to his duties as a police officer. A 1995-batch State Police Service officer, Mishra was elevated to IPS in 2011. Currently, he is posted as an assistant inspector general of police (AIG) of MP State Industrial Security Force in Bhopal.  In 2002, Mishra was posted as Habibganj CSP. It was then he founded an organisation called Samvedna, to educate kids of slum areas through computer training. Five years later, as sub divisional officer police (SDOP) in Bhopal’s neighbouring district, he came in contact with Bedia community, which push daughters into prostitution.

 “Such was the stigma of being from Bedia community that while most of their kids didn’t ever see a school, a few who enrolled went there Gurjar and not Bedia. This made me realise that Bedia kids, who were facing an identity crisis even as children, can never dream of a better future. Following this, we shifted our focus on educating and skilling them,” Mishra said. Recipient of Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, Mishra, who has written four books on human trafficking, has succeeded in establishing perhaps India’s first anti-human trafficking lab, which focuses on capacity building of different stakeholders including police, judicial system and NGOs. The lab has MoUs with TISS-Mumbai, National Commission for Women and Gujarat University.  

How it started

The mission of educating Bedia children started in 2008 with 13 kids, one of whom, a young girl now holds MTech degree and is preparing for final interview of UPSC civil services exams. Mishra brought 13 teenage girls and boys aged between 13-14 years to Bhopal with consent of their families. In last 15 years, they helped 5,000 children, youths from 60 Bedia-dominated villages of Bhopal, Rajgarh, Vidisha, Sagar, Raisen and Guna districts. It is headed by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS-Mumbai) assistant professor Dr Trupti Jhaveri.  

Digital literacy

“We run Digital Literacy Centres in three villages for children and youths. We work to enhance their communication skills,” Mishra told Free Press. The organisation has also developed a village in Rajgarh district as Kabbadi village with the help of sports and police departments.

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