The black silhouette of a girl is exactly what is wrong with the world but when will we sit up and take notice, asks a Class X student

A couple of years ago, I had noticed a black silhouette of a girl painted on the wall on a street. This invoked my curiosity and on asking my mother about it, I was told that it was for a campaign called Missing, which was to help the trafficked girl child. At that time I hadn’t; been introduced to the word “trafficked” and had a vague idea about rape and molestation. Post further research and talks with my family members I learnt that several thousands of innocent girls of my age were kidnapped and separated from their families and were sold to heartless beasts who took advantage of them and treated them like slaves I have heard terrible accounts on girl trafficking in the past. However, the last one really left me thinking about how these young girls are relentlessly tortured and often forced to give up the desire to live.

My friend recently told me that a workshop by a public art campaign called Missing was being organised for creating awareness for this cause. I wanted to help in any way as possible and thus eagerly took the opportunity. We met several girls from Humari Muskan, an organisation which supports girls from vulnerable backgrounds. We bonded over two sessions which consisted making bookmarks with the Missing stencil which were sent to several countries. There was also dancing and talking. It was a lovely and an enriching experience. It was truly amazing to see how after all that these young innocent girls have gone through they are happy and joyful as well as grateful, despite all the obstacles that life had in waiting for them. In the 21st century, we talk about civil rights. Slavery is taught to students as a part of history.

Unfortunately, most of us are ignorant or find the happenings of trafficking hard to admit and are embarrassed and scared to talk about it. Any talk about it is mostly shushed and kept in the quiet. We have the audacity to know about trafficking and yet not give it a voice. We instead crib for superficial and trivial things. The black silhouette of a girl looked to me as a black hole into which several thousands of young innocent girls are sucked into. This may be because of the various challenges life throws in their path and makes them want to believe offers that they may subconsciously know are hoax. However, at the same time it is really inspiring how these girls have faced so many adversities in life and yet harbour so much resilience and will power while several of us succumb to the smallest of challenges. Just as the screams of a drowning man are lost in the ambush by the roaring water, in the same way the cries of these innocent women drown in the frenzy of these monstrous selfish desires. Because of the several happenings in the world and the lack of action taken to correct them, millions of girls feel weak and unprotected. Do we want to feel insecure? This major problem of trafficking, which has been there since centuries, is only getting worse by the day and needs to be given voice immediately, before it’s too late.

Esha Saraf, Class X, Modern High School for Girls

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