Eye on Games business, city sees spurt in trafficking of minor girls

Neha Jain, TNN, Aug 16, 2010, TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: Sixteen-year-old Sujata had gone to attend the annual fair in her village a month ago when she was intoxicated by two men and put on a train to Delhi. She was rescued from the capital’s redlight area last week. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) said the girl, who was trafficked from South 24 Parganas in West Bengal, is traumatized and needs counselling. After being handed over to police by NGO Shakti Vahini, which rescued her from brothel number 512 on GB Road, Sujata was sent to the children’s home at Nirmal Chhaya in Tihar Jail.

“The two men gave me something to eat and I immediately fell unconscious. I do not remember anything after that. The days I spent in the brothel were a nightmare. I was beaten up if I refused to entertain a customer,” said Sujata. Over the past one month, the authorities say, several minor girls have been rescued from the GB Road area and the railway stations in the capital. According to child rights NGOs, with the Commonwealth Games approaching, young girls are being lured by placement agencies which promise them work in the city.



“We have seen a spurt in such cases over the past one month. The victims are mostly those who were promised work in Delhi ahead of the Commonwealth Games by placement agencies, but were instead sold off to pimps and forced into sex work,” said Surinder Jeet Kaur, SHO, Kamla Market police station.

Minor girls continue to be the main target. Some of them are even injected with oxytocin to attain puberty at a younger age. Another 16-year-old, Chhaya, was rescued recently from a GB Road brothel. She, too, was picked up from her village in West Bengal. “The madam at the brothel would force me to entertain customers for over 12 hours a day,” she said. After being rescued by police, the girl has been living at Nirmal Chhaya.

No less heartrending is the story of 13-year-old Kashish, who was rescued from Gurgaon. She was gangraped after which got pregnant. Two days back, she delivered a baby girl. ” Kashish was forced to have sex with two men, who used to visit her daily. She was beaten up and locked inside the room if she refused,” said Pooja, coordinator of Child Line, who was herself rescued four years after being forced into sex work.

Three girls, including two minors, who were brought to the capital from Jharkhand and Orissa were recently rescued from New Delhi railway station. ‘‘Most of the trafficked girls are from West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. They fall into the trap of middlemen who bring them here on the pretext of giving them jobs. The crime is fast spreading and there should be strict action against those involved in child trafficking,’’ said Rishi kant of Shakti Vahini.

NGOs hold multiple agencies responsible for the plight of these young girls blaming them for lack of coordination. “There is no exchange of information between the ministries. It must be ensured that such activities do not go unchecked in the garb of labour migration. The ministry for women and child, for labour and the railway ministry should work together,” added Rishi kant, who said a team from the NGO is present at the railway station every day to keep a lookout for any such victims.



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