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Sold six times by traffickers, Ranch girl finally escapes from Delhi

Trafficked to Delhi at the age of 14, the girl was forced to toil for three years in upscale homes virtually as a slave.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2017 13:09 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Trafficking,Slavery,Forced labour
The teenager was trafficked from Ranchi and forced to work as a domestic help in several houses in Delhi and Haryana for three years. (HT PHOTO)

In the last three years, 17-year-old Sarita (name changed) has gone through hell. Trafficked from the outskirts of Ranchi and forced to work for a pittance as a maid in several households in Delhi and Haryana, she finally escaped only to land accidentally in Lucknow on Wednesday.

She was 14 when she was lured away to Delhi. Sarita told Hindustan Times on Friday that about 14 girls other girls who work as virtual slaves are still in captivity of traffickers.

She said they survived on stale food given by the employers and worked almost 15-16 hours a day. Sometimes, they were also beaten up and threatened when they expressed a desire to return home, she said.

The maids were usually promised around Rs 10000 per month but they got to keep only about Rs 3000 while the agents who got them the employment skimmed off the rest of the money.

Sarita said such maids could easily be found in a number of houses in Pashchim Vihar, Punjabi Bagh and Lajwati Garden areas of Delhi and Karnal in Haryana. She herself had worked at these places for three years before managing to escape from the agents’ clutches on July 31 and landed in Lucknow after boarding a wrong train. She had intended to return to Ranchi.

The government railway police (GRP) found her at the station and she is now living in a shelter home run by a charitable organization called Leelawati Trust. All that Sarita now wants is to meet her parents in Bahredi village on the outskirts of Ranchi.

“She was found on a platform and was handed over to the shelter home. She is likely to be sent home after a medical examination and counseling,” said J P Singh, inspector, GRP.

While recalling the trauma of the past three years, she said she was third youngest among 10 children, including six sisters and four brothers of her poor farmer parents. She said Kuldeep Sahu from a neighbouring village approached her parents and convinced them that she could earn a good salary by working in Delhi that could change the family’s fortunes.

“After initial reluctance, my father agreed and allowed Sahu to take me with him for the job. I know my father thought of betterment but he was not aware that it would land me in big trouble,” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks.

She said Sahu sold her to a Delhi agent for Rs 40,000. The agent in turn sent her to work as domestic help in a house in Pashchim Vihar. She worked there for nine months before another agent Ved Prakash purchased her and sent her to work in another house. Subsequently, she was purchased four times more and forced to work for very low salaries before she decided to flee, she said.

Social activist Rita Singh of Leelawati trust said her organisation was trying to rope in police and other authorities to unearth the child trafficking and slavery racket with Sarita’s help and rescue other girls.

First Published: Aug 06, 2017 13:09 IST