A 20-year-old girl from a remote Chakk Sherewala village in Muktsar district on Saturday saw her mother after four years after she was rescued from a Chandigarh house where she confined and forced to work as a domestic help.
The girl was rescued by a team of Helpline 181 that functions under the department of social welfare, UT administration, after Hindustan Times took up the matter with it. The girl's family had approached HT for help. A team of 'Helpline 181' led by Surya Suman raided the house with the help of the local police and rescued the girl.
Four years ago, the poor landless parents had handed over their daughter, then 16, to a landlord family of their village. The family brought the girl to their Sector 19 house in Chandigarh on a verbal assurance that the girl would be paid a monthly salary of `4,000 and the amount would be adjusted in the loan her parents had taken from them.
"Everything seemed fine initially. However, two years ago, my daughter broke down on phone," said the victim's illiterate mother Shinder Kaur. "When we told them to get our daughter back, but they totally cut off contact from us," the mother said.
"Some days ago, my daughter with the help of a domestic help in the neighbourhood contacted us and said she wanted to come back immediately as she was not happy at all there," said girl's mother.
Shinder arrived in Chandigarh on Friday along with her family members to get her daughter back, but was shunted out of the Sector 19 house. She then approached HT through an acquaintance.
During questioning, the house-owner acknowledged the fact that he had kept the girl as a domestic help on a verbal agreement with her parents who owed him money.