Dreams of working in the movies, wearing jeans and makeup and watching television all day long. This is what the young girls from Jharkhand are being lured with to ensure that trafficking from the area goes on uninterrupted.
Chasing dreams of a better life, girls agree to go with traffickers. HT Photo/Arijit Sen
With parents becoming more and more aware about the dangers of sending their underage children to work as domestic maids to cities such as Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad, the traffickers have found novel ways of luring young girls.
"Girls are now being picked up by traffickers on their way to home from school. They are shown a rosy picture of the life and are told that they can helping their families. The few lucky ones who get to visit their families once a while come back wearing jeans and flashy t-shirts. They are projected as role models by traffickers," said Rahul Sharma, a social worker based out of Ranchi.
Once the traffickers have the girls, they are taken to Ranchi in buses and from there to Delhi in trains. "The recent crackdown at the Ranchi railway station has forced traffickers to shift to other stations in the state such as Bokaro, Koderma and Gomo where the scrutiny is not very high. The language barrier also plays a part as the girls speak a dialect that not many outside Jharkhand can understand," said Rakesh Sengar of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
"Their confidence dips as soon as they see the one familiar face disappearing. They are then completely at the mercy of the new traffickers who usually threatens them if they speak up.
"As per our calculation, 70% of these girls are tribals and have never stepped out of their villages. Life in Delhi fascinates them but when they reach here they realise what they have got into," Sengar added.
Put into squalid, suffocating rooms and often beaten up by placement agency owners, these girls have no means to contact their families.