December 20, 2013

The Lost Girls Of India

In India several thousand young girls disappear every year. Some are sold into prostitution, others into domestic slavery and an increasing number into marriages.

Well documented is the pervasive killing of female fetuses and infants in India. But the trafficking of girls across the country, and even from abroad, to make-up for the resulting shortages is less well-known.

Harrowing Tales

The tales told by the victims are harrowing and what they have endured are chilling to the bone:

Abani Rupak is 18 years old. Two years ago in the suburbs of Calcutta, she was invited to a local fair by some neighborhood boys. A stranger offered her a soft drink, the next thing she remembers is waking up on a train bound for Delhi. She ended up in a brothel.

"They told me I have been sold and I have to do this work. I never agreed but they forced me to do it",she said.

Luckily, her mother tracked her down after several months and, with the help of local police managed to get her daughter back. But there is a problem, their neighbors don't talk to them anymore and her daughters' traffickers are out on bail. The traffickers are now threatening to pour acid on the daughter, unless they dropped the case against them.

Trafficking Profits

The trafficking of humans is an organized, complicated and secretive trade. It is normal that the perpetrators would naturally want to hide their involvement.

An unidentified man who admits to trading in young girls says that business is booming:

"The demand is rising so I have been able to buy three houses back in Delhi...I traffic between 150 to 200 girls a year...I persuade their parents and tell them the girls will get good jobs in Calcutta or Delhi...Some girls are ten, twelve years old while others are fifteen, sixteen years and up

He continues:

"The police are aware of what I do, I have to bribe them in every state. We cannot transport the girls without informing the police. We have to pay the police at important police stations at every stage of transporting the girls". He says he earns about a thousand dollars from selling each girl.

The Genesis Of Trade  

In the northern states of India, demand for women and girls is rising. Why?

Because of the traditional preference for male children in Northern households, female fetuses are widely aborted.
UNICEF says the result is of genocidal proportions and up to 50 million girls and women are missing in India because of feticide or infanticide, the killing of baby girls.

Now there are tens of millions of young boys and men who cannot find a girl to marry. And the women from the rest of India are paying the price for this scarcity.

Kidnapping of young girls is on the rise in the Southern States to fill the growing demand in the North. But that is not the only problem, even when the girls escape or are freed and then come back to their homes they and their families face social ostracism because nobody wants to associate with girls who have been deflowered elsewhere and in such manner. Now these innocent girls must bury their heads in perpetual shame.

The same society that makes them victims is now pronouncing them guilty.