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Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times
Gumla, Jharkhand, July 24, 2012
Rupa Devi will never forget the cold January afternoon seven years ago when she came home to find her daughter missing. The 13-year-old had not returned home from school and no one had seen her. It was only a week later that she found that her real sister had taken her daughter to Delhi to work as a domestic maid.

"She told her that she could buy jeans and beautiful ear rings with her own money in Delhi. She lured her with promises of movies and money. My daughter was just 13," she says. 

Rupa Devi is one of the few mothers in Gumla who did not send her daughter to Delhi voluntarily. She has no idea where her daughter is, even after all these years.  

For parents whose daughters have been trafficked without their knowledge, tracking their children is a near impossible task.

Rupa Devi should know. She has been trying to track her daughter for the past seven years without any luck. Her sister, the trafficker, is long dead leaving no clue behind of where her daughter could be.

"Somewhere deep down, however, I know I have lost her. How much would she have changed in these seven years? Even if she comes and stands in front of me, I may not be able to recognize her."

What most parents like Rupa Devi don't do is go to the police or the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) with their complaints.

"People don't trust the police at all and accuse it of extorting money to file an FIR. People are afraid to talk to the authorities," said Tribhuvan Sharma, member, CWC, Gumla.