In The News

In The Media

Over the years, I’ve been featured in various media articles and interviews. I share them here, in gratitude to the writers and journalists that have taken time out to learn, write, and share what I do as a social entrepreneur and the cause of both Impulse NGO Network and Impulse Social Enterprises.

India’s new-age antitrafficking tools: Big data, AR comics, mobile games

April 10, 2019 : Kejriwal first encountered trafficking in 2000 when she documented the lives of young girls and women in Kolkata. “The plight of these girls became the core of my subject matter as an artist,” she says.

While working with several NGOs in red-light areas, she was most distressed about the growing demand for paid sex, which pushed more girls into the sex trade. “The public, who is the demand-maker and the biggest stakeholder in the issue, was getting off scot-free. They were absent in all the conversations,” she says.

To read the full article in Factor Daily, please click here.

Celebrating ChangemakHERS. How Women Social Entreprenuers lead and innovate

March 2,2019 : Ashoka, with the support of the Citi Foundation, sought to understand how female social entrepreneurs lead and innovate, and how these insights could help more women and girls drive positive social change. Through a mapping of diverse women social entrepreneurs in Ashoka’s network—the largest in the world—this research offers an analysis of the barriers and opportunities related to women’s leadership in social innovation, and a roadmap for how the social entrepreneur, business, and donor communities can create enabling environments for women and girls to succeed as changemakers: people who take creative action to solve social problems for the benefit of all.

To read the full article in ASHOKA, please click here.

Nepalese trafficking incident: Myanmar police rescues one victim; another trafficked to Kuwait

February 5,2019 : In what could be a major development in the recent Nepalese trafficking incident, a girl, understood to be one among the 301 females trafficked, has been rescued by the Yangon Anti Trafficking task force on February 5. The victim, who was saved by the task force along with the immigration centre at Pazunduang, had made a distress call to her family upon which they sought help from an NGO. As per source, the authorities acted on information gathered from Impulse Case info centre Myanmar – an NGO working in the area of human trafficking. However, another trafficking victim from the same batch, could not be rescued and has allegedly been sent to Kuwait by traffickers.

To read the full article in Tehelka, please click here.

Trafficked Nepalis to be sent back to their country

February 5,2019 : IMPHAL: Police are verifiying the credentials of 183 Nepali citizens, which includes 166 women, rescued during operations at the border town of Moreh and Imphal a couple of days ago. Once the process is over, they would be repatriated.

To read the full article in The Times of India, please click here.

Manipur Police Rescue 183 In Ongoing Anti-Human Trafficking Operation

February 3,2019 : GUWAHATI (ASSAM): As many as 183 people — 32 men and 151 women — have been rescued in an ongoing crackdown on an international human trafficking racket in the Northeast, Manipur police said today. Police personnel are still conducting raids across the region, including Imphal, and eight people have been arrested so far.

To read the full article in NDTV, please click here.

Meghalaya illegal mining: Digging their own grave

January 28, 2019 : A dense forested hill on one side and barren plains-randomly excavated in search of coal-on the other, Lumthari is a tiny, almost inaccessible hamlet in one of the remotest corners of the Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya. At first sight, the village looks a picture of pastoral bliss: men and women basking in the winter sun, children playing with puppies and piglets and pulling carts made of the bark of betel nut trees. But under the bright facade lurks a shadow of gloom: three of Lumthari’s young men, trapped in a coal mine in Ksan-21 km away by motorable road and a 15-minute trek through the hills-since December 13 last year might never come back again.

To read the full article in India Today, please click here.

Meghalaya’s coalmines are body disposal pits too

January 21, 2019 : All bodies in Meghalaya’s killer coalmines do not belong to miners, activists in the hill State said.

Thousands of active and abandoned rathole mines have for years been used by murderers to dump the body of their victims. Many across Meghalaya’s coal belts have accidentally fallen to their deaths too.

To read the full article in The Hindu, please click here.

Meghalaya Disaster Exposes Lack of Enforcement against deadly Illegal Mines

January 7, 2019Mumbai — Ongoing efforts to reach victims of a mining disaster in northeastern India have exposed what campaigners say is poor enforcement against such illegal mines, where undocumented workers risk injury or death.

At least 15 people were trapped when an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya state flooded on December 13. Rescue efforts continue, though relatives said this week they had lost hope the miners were still alive.

To read the full article in Reuters, please click here.

India’s Illegal Mines: Death traps no one is Policing

January 5,2019 : Mumbai — Ongoing efforts to reach victims of a mining disaster in northeastern India have exposed what campaigners say is poor enforcement against such illegal mines, where undocumented workers risk injury or death.

At least 15 people were trapped when an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya state flooded on December 13. Rescue efforts continue, though relatives said this week they had lost hope the miners were still alive.

To read the full article in Business Live, please click here.

In Meghalaya Hills where Mine Collapsed,Illegal Coal Trade Continues

January1,2019 : GUWAHATI:  Some villagers at East Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya have been visiting a rat-hole mine every day for over three weeks after 15 men disappeared when water flooded the illegal mine in the district on December 13. Three men among the group of migrant workers trapped in the mine’s dark labyrinth are from their village.

The villagers say they are worried about the men as well as the attention this incident has drawn. For thousands of villagers in these parts, illegal rat-hole mining that involves digging into the side of hills and then burrowing tunnels to reach a coal seam is the only source of income.

To read the full article in NDTV, please click here.

Extraordinary Indians

January 1 , 2019 : Six incredible stories of ordinary people changing the world through courage, compassion and service

To read the full article in Reader’s Digest India, please click here.

Meghalaya: Investigate Attacks on Activists For Exposing Illegal Coal Mining in the State

November 9, 2018 : The grievous attack on activist Agnes Kharshiing (pictured) and her two aides— Amita Sangma and Emiki Kurbah – in Meghalaya, highlights a pattern of reprisals against activists who are standing up against injustice and exposing corruption in the state, said Amnesty India today.

Activists working against rampant illegal coal mining in Meghalaya are under serious threat. There seems to be a nexus between the authorities and the ‘coal mafia’ in the state, which has resulted in a culture of impunity. Those responsible for this brutal attack must be brought to justice.

To read the full article in Amnesty International India, please click here.

This Shillong-Based NGO Has Saved Over 72,000 Victims of Human Trafficking

October 2,2018 : Meet 47-year-old Hasina Kharbhih from Shillong, whose organisation, the Impulse NGO Network (INGON) has been battling the scourge of human trafficking in the Northeast for more than two decades, and has saved approximately 72,442 people and empowered over 30,000 women artisans.

Initially founded in 1993 as a rural livelihood initiative for women artisans in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, the focus of her organisation began to shift after a historic 1996 Supreme Court order, which called for a complete ban on the felling of trees in the Northeast.

To read the full article in Better India, please click here.

Trapped: Many hurdles to repatriate foreign nationals sex trafficked to India

Reuters, 7th May 2018

MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women are increasingly being trafficked into India’s sex industry from countries outside South Asia that do not have repatriation agreements, which leaves victims trapped in limbo for months after being rescued, officials said.

India has long been a destination for traffickers bringing women from neighboring Bangladesh, which has a repatriation treaty, and Nepal, which works closely with Indian authorities on the issue.

Click here to read more.

Hasina Kharbhih, empowering northeast since 1987

Tussle and Triumph, 8th March 2018

Tussle and Triumph in conversation with Hasina Kharbhih, Ashoka Fellow and Aspen ILI Fellow. Hasina is also the founder and managing director of Impulse Social Enterprises and Founder Chair of Board of Impulse NGO Network, which was conceptualized in 1987. Hasina is credited for creating what is called the Impulse Model for tracking human trafficking. The Impulse Model has been replicated in all eight states of Northeast India. It has been piloted for national replication by the Government of India, and also adopted in Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.

She has, for 30 years now, been working to provide a sustainable livelihood in a safe environment for women and children. What started out as a mission in her home state of Meghalaya, has today evolved into a global program that aims to put an end to human trafficking and exploitation worldwide.

Click here to read more.

These seven women from the Northeast are champions of social change

Your Story, 6th March 2018

The Northeast might be culturally and ethnically diverse, but one factor that unites the region and separates it from the rest of India is the status of women here. Social practices such as dowry, female foeticide, honour killing, and child marriages are rare in the Northeast. And despite the region long being a conflict zone and displacements of several communities being common, women in the region are leading the change.

Click here to read more.

Lured with a happily-ever-after dream, Rohingya girls sold in India

Reuters, 22nd January 2018

NUH, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – At 15, Raheema left her home in Rakhine state in Myanmar, crossed two international borders and was sold to be married to a man in India just a few years younger than her father.

“He had asked the agent if I was married before. I was single so he bought me for 20,000 Indian rupees (about $300). Married women go for 15,000 rupees,” Raheema, who gave only her first name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Click here to read more.

Hasina Kharbhih: Her struggle for Impulse NGO Network.

From trafficking Trails to Empowered Self-Entrepreneurs: Hasina Kharbhih continues her journey towards re-telling the lives of these women!

What could have been tales of tragedy for thousands of women and children is now positively set towards a new philosophy of life? The fate of women in the Northeast remains undecided as they find themselves on the cusp of displacement with separatist movements, insurgencies, natural calamities, decreasing employment avenues, adding up to their mass migration. Northeastern state Assam also records the highest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)s. Now, these have been very disturbing trends and has been the reality of this region for long.

To read the full article in Plus Minus Magazine, please click here.

Trafficking in Northeast India takes new form; girls trafficked in the name of ’employment’

In a world where technology has overcome many physical barriers and turning into a significant part of life, a cursory look at the impact of technology in our day to day life is equally important so as to enable us to know about the its challenges as well as benefits.

It is a known fact that technology has opened not just the doors of opportunities for growth but also the virtual gateway for criminals to lure the victims into their trap and one of such crimes is ‘online trafficking’.

To read the full article in TNT, please click here.

Myanmar emerges as transit hub for trafficking northeast girls to South East Asia

October 05, 2017 : Eight girls rescued from Yangon even as over 100 trafficked to the neighbouring country by one Indian agent in the past two years.

For 17-year-old Kate Lam (name changed) the offer for a job in Singapore seemed the best chance to escape the poverty of her home at Churachandpur district in Manipur.

The minor, however, had no idea that she would become a victim of an international trafficking racket and would be sent illegally to Myanmar to be flown later to Singapore to work as domestic worker.

To read the full article in Hindustan Times, please click here.

Traffickers Find New Ways To Smuggle Girls From India’s Remote Northeast

July 05 2017 : “Over 100 girls from the northeast and northern part of West Bengal state were trafficked in the last two years.”

MUMBAI — Young girls from India’s remote northeast are lured with promises of good jobs and trafficked to Southeast Asia and the Middle East on Nepalese passports, campaigners say, amid fears traffickers are finding new ways to escape checks.

To read the full article in The Huffpost, please click here.

Assam: Prostitution, a booming business in the heart of Silchar- A TNT investigation!

April 21, 2017 : Even as the government has taken various initiatives to prevent trafficking of women in the country, the existence of an organised red-light area in the heart of Silchar town, the headquarters of Cachar district, explicitly reveals how prostitution over the years has become a booming business here. This not only exposes the lack of a plan in properly weeding out the “unwanted pests” of the society, but also derides the district administration which has ostensibly been in oblivion on the forever-clamant issue till date.

To read the full article in TNT, please click here.

The Impulse to Bring Change

NE Travel & Life, 19th Dec 2017

In the last decade, a quiet movement at the grassroots has been changing things in some of India’s Northeast’s villages. A petite warrior has been at the forefront of an anti-trafficking movement in the state in particular and the Northeast and North Bengal in general scaling up to Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh over the last six years. Hasina Kharbhih has been working relentlessly for the last two decades to stop human trafficking and provide livelihood support in rural Northeast through her NGO, Impulse NGO Network. As a grassroots activist and social entrepreneur, Kharbhih has made significant changes in the lives of the people of Northeast India and its neighbouring countries. So, how did it all begin?

Click here to read more.

Heritage - The New Business Opportunity

TiE CON – DelhiNCR, 16th Dec 2017.

Hasina Kharbhih, speaking at TiE CON, DelhiNCR

Impulse Social Enterprises Founder & Managing Director, Hasina Kharbhih addressed a Session on “Heritage – The New Business Opportunity” at a TiE CON – DelhiNCR event on Fostering Entrepreneurship, in New Delhi.

Click here to watch the session on Facebook.

Kharbih’s Impulse Model: A focus on empowerment

The Hills Times, 16th Dec 2017

At a time when the entire North Eastern region is plagued with the problem of human-trafficking, mostly of people from the vulnerable sections in the society, an initiative by a Social-Entrepreneur from the region, Hasina Kharbhih promises to be a bankable model to curb this major menace. A recipient of the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship, Kharbhih’s initiative, titled the Impulse Model, operates under the six ‘P’s (Partnership, Prevention, Protection, Policing, Press and Prosecution) and five ‘R’s (Report, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Repatriation and Reintegration Re-compensation), and is being expanded across all the states in the region.

Click here to read more.

Trust Conference 2017: Actions, with Jess Search

Thomson Reuters Foundation, 15th Nov 2017

From catering to coding, jobs help survivors of slavery to rebuild lives

News trust, 13th Nov 2017

LONDON, Nov 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With modern slavery emblazoned in headlines around the world, a growing number of companies and charities are stepping forward to help survivors get something they desperately need – jobs.

From making clothes and furniture in India to cooking, catering and even coding in the United States, such work opportunities are helping former slaves to rebuild their lives.

Click here to read more.

Trafficked on Myanmar passports, Indian housemaids struggle to return home

News trust, 13th Nov 2017

AIZWAL, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The 17-year-old recalls being excited as she took the car journey and bus ride from her home in northeast India and across the border into Myanmar.
But a few weeks into her stay in Yangon, a phone call to her distraught mother suddenly made her fearful.
“She told me I had illegally crossed into another country,” she said. “My family said I should come back and their tone made me very scared.”

Click here to read more.

Freedom Warrior

Business Today, 1st Oct 2017

Fight against human trafficking can be complex and tedious but Hasina Kharbhih does not hesitate to take the bull by the horns. At 17, Meghalaya-based Kharbhih walked away from an opportunity to study in London and pursued her work to prevent trafficking, an initiative she had taken up as part of extracurricular activity in school. Since the early 1990s, she had led a group of volunteers who not only worked to end the scourge of trafficking across the north-east but also helped the underprivileged women find sustainable livelihoods.

Click here to read more.

Tackling Trafficking Systematically

FeminismInIndia.com, 1st June, 2017

“I am a person who takes things positively no matter how difficult it is. In short, nothing is impossible and changes can happen. I am a workaholic, totally committed  to my work and enjoy what I do. As a social entrepreneur, I am married to my vision and I cannot rest until I fulfil my vision.

Challenges are part of life so the more the challenges there are the more I get inspired and strive hard to accomplish my goal…”

Click here to read more.

Hasina Kharbhih Is A Catalyst With Impulse

Woman Times, 20th March, 2017

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2013, on 32 percent of women seem to be employed or searching for jobs. Given the fact that women also make up a whopping 69 percent of the ‘discouraged labour force’…

Click here to read more.

Six Women Social Entrepreneurs In India You Should Know

She The People.Tv, 26th Dec 2016

Women have made a mark when it comes to being successful entrepreneurs or leading big organisations across the globe. We have collated a list of 6 social entrepreneurs, who are not only making money in their respective business but are driven by the passion of aiding the social causes they strongly believe in.

Click here to read more.

Inside the mind of an Ashoka Fellow

Asian Philanthropy Forum, 6th May, 2014

“Hasina Kharbhih has dedicated her life to ending human trafficking in India — and she’s doing it through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Involved in community work since she was still a secondary school student in Northeast India…”

Click here to read more.

Branding The Northeast: Young Leaders Connect

Ok! Northeast, January 2014

Hasina with Mary Kom at Young Leaders Connect“The third chapter of the Young Leaders Connect organized in Guwahati on November 22, 2013, was attended by dynamic young leaders from the region who shared space to discuss different issues of the Northeast.

Mary Kom, the five-time world champion and Olympic medal winner talked about sporting scene in the NE. The session was chaired by Hasina Kharbih, MD, Impulse. Mary Kom entertained the crowd by speaking about her inspiring challenging journey as a sportsperson.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Branding The Northeast: Speaking for Ourselves

Eclectic Northeast, January 2014

Branding NorthEastThis 5-page article featured the Young Leaders Connect III conclave held in Guwahati on November 22, 2013. Themed on “Branding Northeast: Speaking for Ourselves” the conclave featured Northeast sports icons Mary Kom and Bhaichung Bhutia, and other young achievers from Northeast who made their mark in diverse fields.

I chaired a conversation with Mary Kom and Bhaichung Bhutia on “the challenges and obstacles faced by sportspersons from the region.”

Social entrepreneurship: Unique and full of challenges

SME Times, January 2014

On Social Entrepreneurship, in SME-TimesFor this article in the SME Times, I gave an interview about the past, present, and future of Impulse Social Enterprises, and the challenges of social entrepreneurship, especially in the northeast of India.

To read the full interview with Saurabh Gupta, in SME Times, please click here.

GDN funds Innovative Development Projects

GDN, June 2013

GDN Awards Budapest 2012The Impulse NGO Network located in Shillong, in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, India has worked against human trafficking for over a decade. Today, it has a presence in most of the north-eastern states in India and works with partner organizations across India and South East Asia to prevent human trafficking.

To read more, please click here.

25 Most Influential Icons

Eclectic Northeast Magazine, November 2012

25 Most Influential IconsEclectic Northeast prominently featured 25 Most Influential Icons of the region in which I was also included.

The magazine chose individuals based on the following criteria: Influence, in creating a palpable change in their own fields of action and in society; Inspiration, for young and old, due to their work, conviction and perseverance; and Impact, in changing the face of the Northeast into a positive and admirable one.

I was chosen based on my efforts to help the people of the northeast through the innovative Impulse Model, and our outreach to rural women in training and marketing handicrafts for national markets, with the aim to bring greater self-sustainability to rural populations.

Hasina Kharbhih: Undaunted

North East Sun, February 2012

“Undaunted by threats and other adversities, Hasina Kharbhih has been waging an unrelenting battle against human trafficking in the North East” says the cover story of the North East Sun.

This six-page story on my life, featured the Meghalaya Model, the human trafficking scenario in North East India, and a formal question and answer section.

Raising The Stakes Against Child Trafficking

The New York Times, 17th January, 2012

Hasina Kharbhih, 40, has spent the better part of her life working for human rights. She started a nonprofit, Impulse, and developed a comprehensive strategy to prevent child trafficking called the Meghalaya Model, which is being applied in eight Indian states.

To read the full interview, please click here.

Stopping Traffic

Femina, December 2011

Stopping Traffic, via FeminaIn this two-page article titled Stopping Traffic, I speak about my fight against child traffickers in the North East, all the effort on this front, and enemies made along the way.

The article highlights my work with Impulse NGO Network that ultimately led to the creation of Impulse Social Enterprises.

Femina is India’s first and largest read women’s English magazine that serves as a lifestyle guide for progressive women.

Young Leaders of the Northeast Connect

Assam Times, October 2011

Young Leaders Connect, 2011

It was a colourful blend of young achievers from various parts of the Northeast as they gathered for the first time in history under the banner “Young Leaders Connect” under the theme ‘Connect, Exchange, Strengthen’ to deliberate discussions on a range of topics.

The topic “Redefining Development through Social Entrepreneurship” was covered by Hasina Kharbhih (Meghalaya), founder of Impulse NGO Network.

To read the full article, please click here.

FICCI Award for six Northeast Women

Times of India, June 2011

FICCI Flo Honouring Women Achievers of Northeast

Honoring Women Achievers of Northeast, FICCI Flo NE honored 5 women who have done outstanding work in their chosen fields including Hasina Kharbhih for her work against Child and Women Trafficking and building sustainable livelihood options in the region.

All the achievers were presented with a plaque and a Muga silk stole. The evening ended with high tea.

To read the full article, please click here.

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