A resident of Gosaba, 14 year old Mahfuzah (name changed) was in class seven when she ran away from home after fighting with her mother. Scared and alone, she met a lady on a ferry ghat who offered her a place to stay in Kolkata. However, upon reaching Kolkata the lady told her that she would get her a good job in Delhi. Innocent and unknowing of the ways of the world, she went to Delhi with the lady, only to be sold at Garstin Bastion Road, popularly known as GB Road, the fifth largest red light district in Delhi.
After being forced to prostitute herself for almost 3 years,
one day Mahfuza met a man who came to her as a customer and fell in love with her. The man assured her that he would help her, he would make sure that he would rehabilitate her. He indeed contacted Mahfuzah’s father and informed her family of her ordeal.
Mahfuzah’s family rushed to the Gosaba Police Station, where initially the police were reluctant to take any action as “too much time had passed”. The only ray of hope for Mafuzah’s family was a local NGO, MISSING’s partner NGO Samadhan, that immediately got involved and pressured the police to take action.
On their insistence, the police finally visited Delhi to investigate the matter. The Gosaba police chose to collaborate with the local Kamala Market police station to look for Mahfuzah. A joint raid was conducted by the Bengal police, the Delhi police and the NGO across the GB road.
Ultimately Mahfuzah was rescued from a flat in GB Road. Today, she is a resident of SANLAAP home, an organization striving to rehabilitate former prostitutes and has resumed her studies. She is still struggling however, to be accepted in the mainstream of society.
It is not difficult to combat trafficking if we all keep our frights and inhibitions aside and come together. Human trafficking is one of the vilest forms of violence and is growing at a rapid rate. Let us pledge not to let any more Mahfuzah’s be its victim.