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Assam human trafficking: A startling revelation!
Every year, thousands of people are trafficked for purposes of forced labour or sexual exploitation. In Assam, young tribal girls from poverty stricken families are lured with the prospects of good job in cities, but mostly they end up in brothels.
WINDS OF destiny have blown away a tea tribal girl’s glorious academic past, childhood and above all freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right for each citizen of India. The girl is Mitali Orang, a 16-year-old tea tribal from the district of Lakhimpur in Assam, as cruel fate had some other plans in stored for her. Poverty had forced this brilliant girl, who had topped her class in the last exam, to halt her studies and to etch out living in far away Bihar, to ensure that her two younger siblings and her poor parents have their two square meals. She was compelled to leave her studies midway, to seek a future and to see that the future of her two younger brothers shine and her poor mother gets a days food to fill her stomach.
“I used to see photo of Indira Gandhi and always had nurtured a dream to become an officer, so that I could serve my people and my parents. I wanted to study and go to schools like other girls of my age, but it remained a dream. I pray to god to bestow me a better status in the next life so that I can study, plan and make my parents proud,” cried Mitali, with tears rolling down her cheeks.
This is an emotional and a heart rendering story of a poor tribal girl, who had aspired to become an officer so that she could serve her poor mother and help her little brothers to realise their dreams. There are many Mitalis, who have died unheard and unsung. The tea tribe community of Assam comprises of around 45 lakh people and they are one of the most deprived and down trodden sections of the Indian society. They have been fighting for self realisation for the last 45 years to get the status of schedule tribes but unscrupulous people have been squeezing out and continuously exploiting the innocent tribals, by luring them of lucrative jobs outside the region and pushing most of the girls into brothels.
Every year thousands of tea tribe girls are lured by people and taken to different parts of India, to work as slave and in most of the cases they lands up in brothels. Those who are forced into sex work, or who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation as domestic labourers, are particularly at risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and unwanted pregnancy.
The plight of the women from this community has remained unheard and unattended, since ages and they are have no other options but to migrate and to follow the people who lure them and assure them good jobs out side the state.
Trafficking of girls aged five is a common affair in different tea estates across the state. Their parents have no other options but to sent their daughters to unknown people and to unknown places, so that she could give them a two-day meal and thus compromising their fate and sealing her future.
A common scene across houses in India is that one can see young girls form this particular community, working as a maid to earn a livelihood under the very nose of the administration, though there are stringent rules against employing young children.
Now, the question is – who is to be blamed for this!
Should we blame the traffickers who lure them, or the parents who in most cases sell their daughters, or the administration who always is a silent spectator?
There have been many news reports in regional and the national dailies of busting of sex rackets in different places of the country. And to every one astonishment, in most of the cases, the victims are the young tea tribe girls from Assam and this is a revelation of the fact that tea tribal girl are being trafficked in large numbers.
Every year, an average of 250 women and 200 girl children go missing in Assam, who the Assam Police fear are being trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation to different parts of the country.
The trafficking of the young tea tribal is an organised one and there are many people involve in this flourishing trade and the hands of international organisations involvement cannot be ruled out.
The tea tribals have to freshen up the memories of the struggle of the blacks in America and sincere efforts and coordination of all the police stations of the state is the need of the hour to curb this menace and stern actions have to be taken against the traffickers.
The tea tribal are a part and parcel of the Assamese society and in spite of incidents like the Beltola in Assam, where they were tortured and assaulted by the locals for bringing out violent demonstrations, they have to understand the theory of co-existence and the efforts has to be made by each and every Assamese to ensure that their fellow brethrens are protected against traffickers to realise a dream Assam, where every community will co exist peacefully. They can accomplish this by not employing young garden tribal in their house and to champion for their cause, so that they can come at equal par with the people of the other communities and contribute for the growth of Assam and India and the most philanthropic task is that we will be successful to contain the sufferings and the woes of another Mitali.
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