Priti Patkar

Priti Patkar is an Indian social worker and human rights activist. She is the co-founder and director of the organisation Prerana that has done pioneering work in the red-light districts of Mumbai, India to protect children vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Priti Patkar
Priti Patkar.jpg
Priti Patkar
Other namesPriti tai
Alma materTata Institute of Social Sciences, Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work
Known forher work with women and children in red light districts of Mumbai. She conceptualised and founded world's first night care center for children of women working in red light districts.

Personal lifeEdit

Priti Patkar was born in Mumbai. Her father was a government servant and her mother ran a daycare program.[1] She is a Gold Medalist from The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai where she completed a Masters in Social Work.[2] She is married to social activist Pravin Patkar.[3]


Priti Patkar has been working for the protection and rescue of children and women victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation for over 30 years.[4] She founded Prerana in 1986, after a research visit for her Masters in Social Work to the Kamathipura Red Light Area - where she witnessed three generations of women soliciting customers on the same street.[5]

She is accredited with several path-breaking social interventions for the protection and dignity of children and women victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.[6]

Some of her pioneering interventions include:

  • the world’s first Night Care Shelter in the midst of a red light area
  • the world's first Institutional Placement Programme
  • India's first comprehensive Education Support Programme for children living in red light areas
  • the world's first Network of Anti Trafficking Organizations,
  • India's first comprehensive programme for AIDS-affected Children.

Her intervention through her Children Affected by AIDS programme was judged and documented by Washington University as one of the world’s 7 best interventions to work with those affected by AIDs.

Patkar's organisation, Prerana, runs three centres in the heart of Mumbai's red-light areas in Kamathipura, Falkland Road and Vashi-Turbhe.

Patkar has to her credit the largest number of legal interventions and writ petitions in India to protect the rights and dignity of child and female victims of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.[7]

Positions heldEdit

  1. Ashoka Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation USA, for 1988–92.
  2. Consultant in project funding and project development policies for the VOLKART FOUNDATION, India.
  3. Member of the First National Level committee for "Prevention and Control of AIDS" appointed by the Govt. of India.
  4. Member, Special Committee for Review of Legislation on Women, appointed by the Department of Women & Child Welfare, Govt. of India.
  5. Member of the UNICEF Team to sensitize and train members of the Judiciary on CSE&T at JOTI Nagpur since 2001, up until now.
  6. Visiting Resource Person, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, for the training of senior IPS police officers (Covenant Police Services) in social legislation and vertical communication.
  7. Member of Mahila Dakshata Samiti to supervise five police stations in Zone II in Mumbai in cases related to women (1996 up until now), appointed by the Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai.
  8. Member: Special State Level Committee for Rehabilitation of Trafficked Victims set up by the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, Govt. of Maharashtra.
  9. Founder Member of the Forum Against Child Sexual Exploitation, Mumbai.
  10. Member Expert Group on Women & Law of the National Commission for Women India, 1999–2004.
  11. Founder & National Convener of the Network Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking (NACSET)
  12. Co-Director of Prerana's Anti-Trafficking Center: This is one of two specialised Anti Trafficking Centres supported by US Department of State in South Asia, through the UNIFEM South Asia Regional Office. This centre specializes in research, documentation, anti-trafficking news, sensitization and training, networking, and advocacy and lobbying on trafficking issues.
  13. Member: Guidance & Monitoring Committee set up by High Court of Mumbai to supervise the Special Home for Rescued Juvenile Girls Deonar Mumbai.
  14. Member: State Level Advisory Committee Govt. of Maharashtra formed under the Immoral Traffic Act 1986. 2005 up to date
  15. Invited Member of Central Advisory committee, Govt. of India, for implementation of anti-trafficking programmes.[8]
  16. Member of a Supreme Court Panel to recommend possible amendments to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956.[9]
  17. Visiting Social Work Practitioner in the Department of Social Work at Amrita University.[10]

Awards and accomplishmentsEdit

The Government of India acknowledged her work and incorporated measures pioneered and standardised by her in the first National Plan of Action 1998 against the trafficking of children and women. The United Nations invited her to speak before the United Nations Congress at Vienna in April 2000, as the pioneer of the Best Practice working with female victims of violence, when the optional protocol against organised crime was being finalised.

Patkar was invited as a Resource Person to the World AIDS Congress in Yokohama in 1993, and to the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held at Yokohama Japan in 2000.

In 2017, over 12,000 children had benefited specifically from Patkar's Night Care Centre (NCC) program.

  • Young Achiever Award, 2000 (Indo-American Society)
  • Late Kalpana Chawla Award, 2003
  • Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, 2003 (Rotary Club of Bombay)
  • International Excellence Award, 2005 (Lions Club)
  • Stars Foundation (UK) Award for Child Protection, 2009
  • Laxmipat Singhania Award for a 'Young Leader' for Community Service and Social Upliftment, 2009
  • Ahilyabai Holkar Award, 2010 (Government of Maharashtra)
  • Hirakani Puraskar, 2013 (Doordarshan – Sahyadri)[11]
  • An award from the Government of Maharashtra where she was felicitated by the Chief Minister – Shri Prithviraj Chawan in March 2013.[12]
  • Human Rights Award at the 2014 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards [13]
  • Nari Shakti Pursakar Award, 2015. This award is given by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to institutions and individuals who have made exceptional contributions towards the empowerment of women specifically belonging to vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society.[14]
  • Sofy India Women Award 2016 [15]


Patkar has 7 books and several research reports to her name - published or released by The National Commission for Women, UNICEF, UNDP, USAID/FHI. Others have been sponsored by Groupe Development (France), Concern India Foundation, USAID, and more.[16] Through Prerana, she has also been systematically mapping the decline of the Kamathipura Red Light Area since 2010.[17]

Some of them are:

  1. A completed Research Methodology I & II course at Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  2. One Year Certificate Course in Research Methodology at TISS
  3. Coordinator Mumbai chapter for the landmark study of Prostitution in India in 6 metropolitan cities by Central Social Welfare Board 1990.
  4. Research Co-Director of the “Six District Study of Trafficking of Children and the Situation of the Children of Trafficking Victim Women” Report published by UNICEF Maharashtra.
  5. "In Search Of A New Legislation Against Commercial and Sexual Exploitation". Written with Dr. Pravin Patkar. Mumbai, Prerana, 2002.
  6. Co-Director of empirical research on sex tourism on the Indian West Coast sponsored & published by Indian National Commission for Women, 2002.
  7. "Frequently Asked Questions on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking. Written with Dr. Pravin Patkar. Mumbai, Prerana.
  8. "Child Trafficking: Issues and Concerns". Written with Dr. Pravin Patkar. Mumbai, Childline Indian Foundation.
  9. "Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation: International Conventions, Laws, and Policy". Written with Dr. Pravin Patkar and Monica Sakhrani.
  10. Director: research project for UNDP in 2004. Interface between HIV and Trafficking[18]
  11. "Home Investigation Report: An Effective Guide in Post Rescue Operations in the fight against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children". Written with Dr. Pravin Patkar, 2004, Mumbai, Prerana.
  12. "Prerana's Intervention for the Protection of the Rights of the Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in India. Written with Dr. Pravin Patkar, Mumbai, Prerana.


  1. ^ "Priti Patkar Profile".
  2. ^ "Unsung heroes".
  3. ^ "Priti & Pravin Patkar".
  4. ^ "Saving children". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  5. ^ Mumbai, Arunima Rajan in (26 November 2014). "How Prerana's Priti Patkar has changed the lives of sex workers' children". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Woman of substance".
  7. ^ "Woman of Might".
  8. ^ "Priti Patkar Position's held".
  9. ^ "Legalizing prostitution? Let's put a pin in it - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Priti Patkar | Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Grace Pinto, MD of Ryan Group conferred Sunsilk Doordarshan – Sahyadri Hirkani Award". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Priti Patkar Awards".
  13. ^ "Vital Voices Honored at Kennedy Center | The Georgetown Dish". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  14. ^ "President Pranab Mukherjee presented 2015 Nari Shakti awards". 9 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Zee honours achievers with Sofy Indian Women Awards | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Priti Patkar Books".
  17. ^ "Kamathipura: bought and sold - Livemint". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Priti Patkar's Research".

External linksEdit