A woman is not for sale!!!!!
If only we knew that a large section of girls and children in the brothels have been forced to sexual slavery, are not paid for their services and have been kidnapped from unknowing parents and sold off to gigolos and pimps, would we still turn a blind eye to these victims of flesh trade? Children are best seen in their homes and not in brothels pacifying psychologically sick men who buy services of children as young as ten! What’s more there is information that small girls as small as eleven years of age are increasingly being injected with a steriod that is generally meant for cows, just so that they develop more mature physical attributes and land more clients! They're locked up for days, starved, beaten, and burned with cigarettes until they learn how to service up to twenty-five clients a day. Some girls go through 'training' before being initiated into prostitution, which can include constant exposure to pornographic films, tutorials in how to 'please' customers, repeated rapes. The procurer-pimp-police network makes the process even smoother. Bought for as little as Rs (Nepalese) 1,000, girls have been known to fetch up to Rs 30,000 in later transactions. Police are paid by brothel owners to ignore the situation. Girls may not leave the brothels until they have repaid their debt, at which time they are sick, with HIV and/or tuberculosis, and often have children of their own. Simply put, all doors close for trafficked women and children who find themselves forced into sexual slavery.
Trafficking is one of the hardest crimes to track and investigate hence data is hard to obtain. A multimillion dollar business which has become a massive organized crime is one of the most lucrative criminal trades, next to arms and drug smuggling undertaken by highly organized criminals. India is a source, destination, and transit country for trafficking for many purposes such as commercial sexual exploitation. There are no national or regional estimates for the number of children trafficked every year. But 40% of prostitutes are children, and there is a growing demand for young girls in the industry. In India Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are considered "high supply zones" for women in prostitution as part of an organized trafficking network.Unless a public opinion is built laws are effectively designed and implemented, the situation is constantly monitored and the nexus of traffickers is exposed, children will continue to be trafficked. Coordinated efforts are required to stop and prevent child trafficking.
On 2nd December, 2012 hundreds living in India’s IT hub, Bangalore thronged to the Holy Trinity Church to take up the torch in the city’s first Anti-Trafficking Vigil. The march began from Trinity Circle in MG road and went all the way up to Cubbon Park to end in a quiet candle ceremony followed by an oath to do all that we can in our capacity to end this cycle of bonded slavery.It was just about to be sun set.Many people said a ‘no’ to trafficking today as they walked solemnly the streets of Bangalore . When your voice merges with hundreds of others , look how loud your voice gets.That’s just how you must view your seemingly small contribution to end this evil against our women and children. I am truly happy to have taken the march too.
There were girls, there were boys, senior citizens, Christian leaders, members of NGOs, musicians, working professionals, just about everyone! I was thrilled to see young girls studying in colleges take the lead in the march. It’s truly empowering to see the younger generation sensitive to the cause. One 14-year old girl volunteer carrying a banner said, “I don’t need to be older to be a part of the march today to raise my voice against human trafficking. It just needs a heart to see what’s happening to children in this country!!” Another 20-year old girl volunteer distributing water bottles to people before the march beamed and said, “ My friends wanted to go for Amir Khan’s movie , Talaash, that has just released but I wanted to come here and do whatever I could, no matter how small, to support the cause to stop trafficking.” Benny Prasad, the most travelled Indian musician (Limca Book of records 2007) was there to lend his support to the cause. Narendra Kumar (25) a management student said, “These people who are forced into sex work and labor are also human beings and the people who traffic them have no right to use them for their own gain.” Rakhi Mathai (30), a social development professional told me, “I had really wanted my two children to be here today and see how the real world is but they had exams tomorrow. Children need to be taught the real problems of our society- trafficking is one of them.” A very disillusioned volunteer, Amit (22) commented, “How is India a developing country I wonder, look around you- how many children are laborers!
Anti-Human Trafficking Network Bangalore which organized the event collected 5,000 signatures on the occasion and the Network is planning to submit a memorandum to the Governor after collecting over 10,000 signatures to demand strengthening the hands of law enforcement authorities to fight human trafficking and spread awareness amongst various sections of society.
Today I met and talked to many people who had come to take the march. The educated from the cosmopolitan city share concerns on the way women and child are being trafficked and their rights to a normal fulfilling life is being denied just because we are not doing anything profound and effective to curb it. There is a great potential in people’s movement to fight this evil. The solution could lie with social action besides the present legislative, executive and judicial measures. I am glad I took an oath today to be able to carry information on trafficking through my social media page and every possible forum, to anyone who wants to listen and anyone who has a heart. Please play your part in whichever way you can. You never know how many are waiting to be freed out there!
Journalist, Campaigner and Activist
Voices for Human Rights &
Nirmal Bharat Yatra