By Sagarika Satapathy: In Indian society, women have been subjected to humiliation of one sort or the other since time immemorial. Among all, women trafficking are the worst form of exploitation to the fairer sex in recent times.
The concept of women trafficking refers to the acquisition of female persons by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them by treating them like commodities for profit. The victims are forced to work as sex workers, bonded labourers and dragged into forcible marriage so on and so forth that turn into long term physical as well as mental exploitation.
Women trafficking are an extreme form of human rights violation as well as an issue of human dignity and social justice. It causes untold miseries of the female persons particularly the girl children as it violates the individual’s rights to life, dignity, privacy, security, health, education and redressed of grievances.
Traffickers primarily target women affected by poverty that impede their access to employment, educational opportunities and other resources. In the process the traffickers earn a huge amount of money. Sometimes, people occupying responsible positions in the society are involved in this criminal activity despite stringent measures taken by the state and central government.
According to the United Nations’ report, more than 4 million women, children, and men are victims of international trafficking each year. As many as 8,099 people were reported to be trafficked across India in 2014. Most of the victims (3,351) were registered under immoral trafficking. Traffickers import women and girls from, Indian states aside, a variety of countries, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia and Thailand, according to this United Nations report.
Since poverty, illiteracy and ignorance are the main reasons for women trafficking, the backward state like Odisha has witnessed a larger number of such incidences. With unproductive landholdings and very few means of livelihood, the poor people in general and people of KBK & tribal region in particular are plunged into numerous crises every year. Their only option is to migrate to other states in search of work.
These helpless people of the state are mainly vulnerable to trafficking and therefore exploited in physically, morally, economically and sexually. For instance, about 5000 tribal girls have gone missing from the Sundargarh district in the last five years, according to a complaint lodged with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
However the Odisha government in December 2009 formulated a policy to address the growing incidence of trafficking in women and children issue. The policy provides adequate steps for psychological support, economic empowerment and reintegration to ensure that the rescued victims of trafficking do not get drawn into the trade again due to non-availability of other options for livelihood.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer and social activist Rutuparna Mohanty created “Maa Ghara” (Mothers Home), which provides a shelter for rehabilitating trafficked and sexually exploited women and girls. The home has served 5,000 women since 2004 through rescue, care and legal protection.
With the able leadership of Mrs. Rutuparna Mohanty, Maa Ghara recently rescued as many as 25 girls near Bhubaneswar Railway Station, who were originally from Kamakshyanagar, Dhenkanal district, while a lady trafficker from West Bengal was trying to track those girls.
More importantly, consulting with CRPF, Bhubaneswar, Maa Ghara has also provided security guard training to 30 girls from Sundergarh District who are affected by poverty and prone to traffic. The CRPF with the help of Maa Ghara in Nabarangpur district has also started a new initiative to improve various skills of the vulnerable section of women and find employment for them in the locality.
As many as 30 women and girls of the district were joined in the free computer education with free boarding facilities.To sum up, it’s high time that the government and civil societies have to take appropriate steps and implement the concerned plan and programmes in true letter and spirit to stop women trafficking for best interest of the safety, security and dignity of the women and girl children of the state.