It was envisaged to create a ‘people’s training institute’ with the incorporation of academicians from the background of social science, development professional in addition to technical experts belonging to health and other disciplines. The other issue was how to incorporate community based experts as part of the team who have knowledge and experience in community mobilization process in addition to creating enabling environment of sex workers community. One of the initial objective of this institute is to build capacity of program implementers across south East Asian countries including the key community members who are responsible to manage and run sustainable HIV intervention program. The institute helped building not only technical skill on health interventions but also took innovative approaches to improve self-esteem and confidence among the marginalized communities in addition to their theoretical and practical process of knowledge based on collectivization and leadership development.

Placement of interns and Exposure visit organized through SRTI:

On an average 150 interns [in country and from abroad] are placed in DMSC and their orientation, guidance etc. are steered through SRTI. Placement of interns in the project site varies from four weeks to six months.

Number of internees attended in last five years: NATIONAL

YearGraduatePost GraduatePhDShort term visit (one week or less)
Year 2013221910
Year 2014210371
Year 201533353142
Year 201618191105
Year 201723497149

Number of internees attended in last five years: INTERNATIONAL

YearGraduatePost GraduatePhDShort term visit (one week or less)
Year 2013-1837
Year 2014-10113
Year 2015121451
Year 2016114113
Year 2017110120

Capacity Building Unit:

Under SRTI following activities are undertaken:

A dedicated capacity building unit namely CLCAB (Community led capacity assessment and building unit) came into existence from 2006 onward. Through this full-fledged capacity building unit training, mentoring and other kind of capacities are built. In addition to class room based training, handholding and mentoring supports are provided to trainees. A pool of renowned individuals representing different disciplines e.g. public health, sociology, counseling, anti-trafficking, economics and also from STI background are attached to SRTI as full time or visiting faculty / consultants.

So far we have provided support to a large number (75+) of civil society organization i.e. NGO’s / CBO’s and around 350 participants from these organizations has received training during last 3 years. SRTI maintained a dedicated documentation unit manned by specialized technical persons. So far we have developed about 6 films, a dozen of QTVR, Web based games in addition to other printing material.

Research Unit

SRTI conducts varied research activities which includes Behavioral, Clinical, Biomedical and Operation’s research. SRTI in partnership with number of Universities namely:

UCLA, Yale University, Nottingham University, Pennsylvania University, University of Manitoba, Warwick University, Manchester University so far has carried out numbers of Bio-behavioral and Operation’s research.

Since 2010, some of the important research work undertaken by the staff members of SRTI are;

  • Communitization and its impact on HIV/AIDS Intervention among the sex workers in Kolkata, India.

  • Health and nutritional status of School children living in the hostel in Baruipur

  • The impact of microfinance in improving the quality of life of sex workers in Kolkata

  • Assessing sexual behaviour and HIV prevalence among the clients of sex workers

  • The sexual behaviour and practices among the middle class women in city, Kolkata

  • Conducting survey to assess female sex workers’ need and access to MCH related services

  • Socio Economic Survey on LGBT community

  • Adherence and prevention support for PLHIV in Kolkata by use of mobile telephone – a pilot project

  • Implementing DRISHTI: Reducing HIV risk among sex workers with depression

  • Feasibility study on the potential introduction of HIV oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among female sex workers (SW) in Sonagachi, India (brothel-based)

  • Closing a critical HIV prevention gap: demonstrating safety and effective delivery of daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as part of an HIV combination preventive intervention for sex workers in Kolkata and Mysore-Mandya, India

Number of articles published in Peer reviewed journal, since 2013 onwards:

  1. Sex Workers, Stigma and Self-Belief: Evidence from a Psychological Training Program in India; Sayantan Ghosal (Glasgow), Smarajit Jana (Durbar), Anandi Mani (Warwick), Sandip Mitra (ISI Delhi), Sanchari Roy (Warwick); JEL (Journal of Economic Literature) Codes: O12, I30, 87 Published: November, 2013

  1. A Community based study to assess adherence of Antiretroviral Therapy among People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in Kolkata, India; Smarajit Jana, Krishnangshu Roy, Protim Ray, Debashis Mondal, Sudhanshu Chakraborty, Shyam Sundar Jha; IJRSS (International Journal of Research in Social Sciences); Year:2015, Volume:5, Issue:3; Published online: 4 March, 2016

  1. Whatever I have, I have made by coming into this profession”: The intersection of resources, agency, and achievements in pathways to sex work in Kolkata, India; Dallas Swendeman, Anne E. Fehrenbacher, Samira Ali, Sheba George, Deborah Mindry, Mallory Collins, Toorjo Ghose, Bharati Dey; Arch Sex Behav. 2015 May; 44(4): 1011-1023; Published online: Jan 13, 2015

  1. Stigma, Discrimination and Self-Image: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels”; Sayantan Ghosal, Smarajit Jana, Anandi Mani, Sandip Mitra, Sanchari Roy; JEL (Journal of Economic Literature): O12, J15, D87; Published: 12 July, 2017

  1. Believing in oneself: can psychological training overcome the effects of social exclusion? Sayantan Ghosal, Smarajit Jana, Anandi Mani, Sandip Mitra, Sanchari Roy; JEL (Journal of Economic Literature): O12, J15, D87; Published: September, 2013; No: 152

  1. Trafficking, sex work, and HIV: efforts to resolve conflicts; Richard Steen, Smarajit Jana, Sushena Reza-Paul, Marlise Richter; The Lancet; Volume 385, No. 9963, p94-96; Published: 21 July, 2014

  1. Exceeding the Individual: a Qualitative Examination of a Community-Led Structural Intervention and Its Implications for Sex Workers and Their Families; Samira Ali, Toorjo Ghose Smarajit Jana Sambuddha Chaudhuri; Global Social Welfare; Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 53-63; Published: June, 2014

  1. Medication Adherence and Quality of Life Support by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Calls among People Living with HIV in India; Dallas Swendeman, Smarajit Jana, Protim Ray; Medicine 2.0; Last Updated: 19-05-2014

  1. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses; Zindoga Mukandavire, Kate Mitchell, Smarajit Jana, Peter Vickerman; Mary Ann Liebert Inc. Publishers; Volume: 30 Issue S1; Published: October 30, 2014

  1. Strategizing Occupational Health and safety in Sex Work settings-A case study; Dr. Smarajit Jana, Dr. Protim Ray; MFC India; Published: 2013

  1. Gender, Sexuality and Violence in the context of HIV and AIDS a Call to Action; Dr. Ravi Varma, Anand K. Das, Laurent le Danoise, Dr. Smarajit Jana, Anandi Yuvraj, Reginald Watts, Dr. Deepmala Mahla, Sujata Khandekar; ICRW ( International Center for Research on Women); Published: 2016

Expanding the scope of the Institute

We have planned to strengthen and expand the domain and activities of existing Institute to fulfill the rising demand for capacity building of participants from the Asia region. As envisaged a good number of training programs and module has been delivered through SRTI over the years. The list of the training program is based on the needs expressed by participants and program heads. To maintain and sustain the quality of Capacity building program almost all C.B. activities are linked with the Demonstration Sites both at Sonagachi and three other intervention sites across the State of West Bengal.

Our future plan:

  • Exchange visit of faculty members with other renowned institutes in USA and Europe to bring our faculty members at par with other institutes and universities.

  • A dedicated group of community trainers would be housed at the centre who would play as full time trainer for effective transfer of knowledge and skill to trainees.

  • A set of training tools could be developed keeping in view the interest of various stakeholders.