By Barkha Sethi:
I have heard a lot about G.B. road in Delhi. I have always heard that there are girls waiting with heavy make-up in western or traditional dress luring the guys by waving hands or with their words. They lure them to purchase them so that they could earn their livelihood. This is called prostitution or human trafficking.
When I was a child I used to hear about selling or buying a commodity but hearing about selling and buying of a person was like a big shock to me as this world seems to be a lovely and beautiful world till my childhood but reality is so harsh and scary, I learned when I am grown up. It’s hard to imagine that a world which talks about love, peace and brotherhood amongst fellow human beings has a dark secret staring and mocking at its true reality.
India is listed in the Tier II list of the UN which includes countries which have failed to combat human trafficking. The concept of trafficking denotes a trade in something that should not be traded in. Human trafficking as defined by the UN is, “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or service, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
India, along with Thailand and the Philippines has 1.3 million children in its sex-trade centers. The children come from relatively poorer areas and are trafficked to relatively richer ones. In cross border trafficking, India is a sending, receiving and transit nation. Receiving children from Bangladesh and Nepal and sending women and children to Middle Eastern nations is a daily occurrence. India and Pakistan are the main destinations for children under 16 who are trafficked in South Asia. More than 40% of 484 prostituted girls rescued during major raids of brothels in Bombay in 1996 were from Nepal. In India, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are considered “high supply zones” for women in prostitution. Bijapur, Belgaum and Kolhapur are common districts from which women migrate to the big cities, as part of an organized trafficking network.
Every year between 5,000 and 7,000 Nepalese girls are trafficked into the red light districts in Indian cities. Many of the girls are barely 9 or 10 years old. 200,000 to over 250,000 Nepalese women and girls are already in Indian brothels. The girls are sold by poor parents, tricked into fraudulent marriages, or promised employment in towns only to find themselves in Hindustan’s brothels. They’re locked up for days, starved, beaten, and burned with cigarettes until they learn how to service up to 25 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.
Trafficking in women and girls is easy along the 1,740 mile-long open border between India and Nepal. Trafficking in Nepalese women and girls is less risky than smuggling narcotics and electronic equipment into India. Traffickers ferry large groups of girls at a time without the hassle of paperwork or threats of police checks. 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.
This makes me cry and scream loudly as in every sphere of life girls are exploited in different ways and by different people. Though they do not raise their voice against these due black mailings and their weaknesses yet if someone raises her voice, is killed or beaten badly. So I thought why not share my views through this great platform. This would flow my views to others and they would also be aware about this bitter truth and some determined people might take some step so to remove this evil from the society, from India.
Although prostitution is legal in India, brothel keeping, living off the earnings of a prostitute, soliciting or seducing for the purposes of prostitution are all punishable offenses. There are severe penalties for child prostitution and trafficking of women. The Government of India is currently considering amendments to its law on trafficking and prostitution. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment (ITPA) Bill 2006 proposes significant changes in a number of areas including decriminalizing prostituted women and penalizing buyers of prostituted women. Groups including Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a survivor-led organization that began in 1998 as a community-based initiative of women in prostitution in the red light area of Mumbai, have been advocating for the proposed changes. Many NGOs are taking initiatives to remove this or at least to lower down the rate at which it is prevailing in India. This is not enough. Only due to their efforts this is not possible. We also have to take step and move forward to remove it. This can be done by making people aware of the results and effects and making the girls realize to opt any other option than this for their livelihood.
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