Devesh K. Pandey
NEW DELHI: Gita (name changed), 16, was brought to the Capital from Sundarbans in West Bengal by a tout about three months ago and placed as a domestic help in a house. Unable to bear the harassment at the hands of her employer, she escaped and boarded a train to Karnal in Haryana. Her father, a farm labourer, is now here to take her back home.
A lost Gita was spotted at the Karnal railway station by the police about a week ago. NGO Shakti Vahini learnt through a local source about the girl. While Gita was sent to a shelter home in Karnal, her father was finally traced and brought to the Capital a couple of days ago. “About three months ago, one Subor Mandal contacted me and offered the job of a domestic help to my daughter in Delhi. He also promised to pay Rs.2,500 to me. But he never got the money.” Gita purportedly told the NGO representatives that her employer did not pay her any salary and used to physically assault her. “The victim’s father went along with us to Karnal to get her custody. They are now in Delhi and will board a train back home on Monday morning. We are trying to get a case registered against the tout there,” said Ravi Kant of Shakti Vahini.
A large number of minor girls like Gita are allegedly being trafficked to the NCR on the pretext of placement as domestic helps. In an operation, the NGO in coordination with Human Rights Law Network and Childline (central zone) had rescued three minor girls at the New Delhi railway station on March 18. All of them had been brought to work as domestic helps. During the operation, the alleged trafficker, a resident of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, was also detained.
“Minors are being trafficked to the Capital from Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. Though Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Siliguri have been a source of trafficking since a long time, there has been a surge in the cases in the recent past. Job losses at the tea gardens of Darjeeling are one of the major reasons behind this.”