|Born||1972 (age 40–41)|
|Alma mater||St. Joseph's College, Bangalore, Mangalore University|
|Occupation||Founder of Prajwala, Hyderabad|
|Known for||Social activist, co-founder of Prajwala, an NGO that works for the rehabilitation of sex workers and their children.|
Sunitha Krishnan, born in 1972, is an Indian social activist and chief functionary and co-founder of Prajwala, an institution that assists trafficked women and girls in finding shelter. The organization also helps pay for the education of five thousand children infected with HIV/AIDS in Hyderabad. Prajwala’s “second-generation” prevention program operates in 17 transition centers and has served thousands of children of prostituted mothers. The NGO’s strategy is to remove women from brothels by giving their children education and career opportunities. Krishnan and her staff train survivors in carpentry, welding, printing, masonry and housekeeping. Malayalam movie director Vineeth Sreenivasan was inspired of her life while developing the story of his latest movie, Thira (film).
Sunita was born in Bangalore, to Palakkad based Malayali parents. At the age of 15, Sunita was gang-raped by eight men. This event served as an impetus to what she does today. Later, she did her B.Sc. (Environmental Science), MSW (Psychiatric Social Work) and Ph.D. (Social Work). She is married to Mr. Rajesh Touchriver, an Indian filmmaker, art director and scriptwriter.
"She brought the house down in Mysore today.(TED Video) And by that, I mean that she broke hearts and moved people to action. The audience listened painfully to some of the stories of the more than 3,200 girls she has rescued, girls who had endured unimaginable torture and yet, somehow, nevertheless found the will to heal and thrive. She spoke of the need for everyone to overcome silence about the phenomenon of human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, and for us not only to offer our love and compassion to its victims, but to be willing to accept them in our communities. She admitted that rescuing girls is never a very safe business, sharing that she can no longer hear out of her right ear, and that she has been beaten up during interventions more than a dozen times. Her strong voice and powerful body language ensured that no one could claim to have misunderstood her points." — The Shambhala Sun Report, TED 2009
Awards and honours
- Indiavision, Person of the year 2011
- Global Leadership Award, 2011
- [Dr. Sunitha Krishnan Conferred with UNODC -'Real Heroes' Award for her Contribution to Combat Human Trafficking, on 19 April 2008 http://www.unodc.org/india/rha_sunitha_krishnan190408.html]
- Vanitha Women of the Year 2009
- Real Heroes Award, 2008, awarded by Reliance Industries Limited and CNN-IBN network. "IBN 7 & CNN-IBN salute the 'real heroes' of our nation"
- Perdita Huston International Award for Human Rights, 2007, awarded by United Nations Association of the National Capital, Washington, DC
- Stree Shakti Puraskar, Government of India Women's Day awards announced, The Hindu
- IRDS Safdar Hashmi awards 2012 for Human Rights  by Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences Lucknow
- "Each minute counts. Sometimes, we get information about minor girls, some as young as three, and by the time, we marshal the man power and police protection to mount a rescue operation, it would be too late to prevent the child from being sold into the flesh trade."
- "I have never let obstacles of any kind stop me from helping people from less privileged strata of society; something I used to do as a school student. In those days, I used to teach children in my neighbourhood. But, in my teens, when I was living with my parents Raju Krishnan and Nalini Krishnan in Bangalore, my attention turned towards women who were sexually exploited."
- "I have this deep-rooted belief that my life is a providence by itself, and God has brought me in this world to do what I'm doing, and God will allow me to stay in this world so long as he believes that my mission is not done, and therefore I do believe that the day God believes that my work is done, I'll be killed or I'll die naturally, or whichever way that is possible."
- "There's so much desensitization that has happened, so much normalization of exploitation that has happened, so much internalization of trauma that has happened."
- The Rebuild Campaign
- Innovative Activists Save Trafficking Victims in Jordan and India- US Government Website
- The Hindu
- The Hindu
- Sunitha's TED-India 2009 talk
- The Spark of Unbearable Compassion — The Shambhala Sun Report (TED 2009)
- "YouTube: Satyamev Jayate : The Idea of India - Justice (Part 2)".
- Sunitha Krishnan declared ‘Indiavision Person of the Year’
- "2011 Global Leadership Awards". Vital Voices. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Keeping hope alive Real-life hero
- Sunitha - PBS Interview
- Prajwala home page
- The Spark of Unbearable Compassion: Sunitha Krishnan speaks at TED India
- Keeping hope alive Real-life hero
- Sunitha's TED India 2009 Talk - Video
- The Sex Slave Rescuer — An Interview clip - Video
- PBS News - Video
- Dr. Sunitha Krishnan Conferred with CNN IBN 'Real Heroes' Award
- Anti-Trafficking Crusader Sunitha Krishnan Fights To Save Women & Girls In India
- Ashoka Foundation Profile of Sunitha
- Sunitha Krishnan and Prajwala – Fighting for trafficked children
- Sunitha's Blog
- TED gain: $100,000 in 20 minutes, all for a cause (TED 2009)