Trafficking Of Tribal Girls Unabated In Chhattisgarh

NEWPOST INDIA
Sunday 24th of June 2007 Come to one of India’s most impoverished tribal areas in the Surguja district of Chhattisgarh and take away minor tribal girls for just Rs 500-Rs 2,000.This has been the tale of hundreds of tribal girls from the Sitapur assembly segment in northern Chhattisgarh for years. Locals say that for more than a decade ‘agents’ and ‘suppliers’ here have been taking advantage of the region’s backwardness, offering a mere Rs 500-Rs 2,000 as advance to the poor tribal girls’ parents in return for employment as maid servants in the country’s metros and other major cities.’They (agents) tell poor parents that their girls will contribute towards the family income by making career in places like Delhi and Mumbai, but it’s a lie. They supply our girls purely for sexual exploitation and it’s been happening for more than a decade,’ Mangroo Mandawi, a resident of the Manjhi tribe dominated Kamleshwar village, told IANS.A local police officer told this correspondent during a recent visit to the Sitapur assembly segment, ‘Everyone except the poor parents here know that the girls are going to metros for sexual exploitation in name of domestic help. This year alone we have registered dozens of cases of human trafficking in Kamleshwar, Narmadapur and adjoining areas.’ ‘Parents who believe their girls are earning money and making a career in metros are often in for a rude shock when the girls return after months, and sometimes even years, to narrate the tales of sexual exploitation,’ the policeman said on condition of anonymity, adding: ‘Several local agents who were engaged in this racket were arrested in raids during the past one year but the supply is still unabated.’ ‘Police here rarely take action as the agents give them a share of their earnings. The supply racket has become a thriving business here for the many agents in contact with the Manjhi, Manjwar and Urao tribes of some 30-odd village panchayats, including 18 situated on the top of the Mainpat hills,’ 45-year-old Gaya Ram of Narmadapur village told IANS.When contacted, Sitapur legislator Amarjeet Bhagat of the state opposition Congress party, said on phone: ‘Yes, I admit human trafficking and supply of girls as maid servants to metros is going on in certain areas. I raised the issue in the state assembly too and police detected several cases.’ Surguja district superintendent of police S.K.Rathor said: ‘Girls migrate to bigger cities in search of employment voluntarily. It’s not the job of the police to keep track of every families’ girls.’

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