Human trafficking is a crime where young children are easy prey to vultures and forcefully taken away from their parents. There is no guarantee that the vulnerable children will ever see their homes or parents where they are lost like dust and never to be found again.
I am participating in the A21 campaign:hashtag #WalkForFreedom hosted on Write Tribe written by Harmony Vuy. I am penning my thought and making reference to the story that Outlook magazine India broke on human trafficking, in particular, small children in Assam. The children are abducted under the guise of education where the parents are not allowed to speak to them for years. The cover story, ‘Operation Baby Lift/Beti Uthao’ was broken by journalist Neha Dixit and who was assaulted by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Dixit worked on the field for three months of drawing on facts but personal attacks were made against her on Twitter, attacking the integrity of a journalist. This post draws heavily on materials posted in Outlook Magazine and you can check out the link here.
What does the law say?
“It is a form of human slavery” that “includes forced labor, domestic servitude, and commercial sex trafficking. It can include atrocities such as “people…being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves, often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay.”
Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:
“Children must not be separated from their parents unless it is in the best interest of the child (for example, in case of abuse or neglect).”
India ratified the Convention in 1992.
Article 30 (Children of minorities) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children:
“Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs, and religions of their family.”
The RSS is an extremist Hindu hardliner organization where children were allegedly picked by their workers and sent away from parents in the state of Assam. The report pointed out how two daughters of a laborer, aged 6, were taken away from their parents to be educated in Gujarat and Punjab where they are not allowed to speak to their parents for four years.
The devil lies in the details. It’s the background that I am providing in reference to the cover story on trafficking of small children who are indoctrinated from a religious point of view. The RSS affiliated Shiksha outfits made parents swore an affidavit to give consent. The affidavit is drafted in English, a language, which the parents are alien to since they are illiterate. As one can see, it’s a huge network of human trafficking where vigils of the extremists’ groups look for vulnerable people and brainwash them under the guise of imparting education to their children.
It’s a trail of sort where a female Pracharika, well trained in the Hindu ideology looks for such children through another RSS outfit called Seva Bharati that pose as a welfare association dedicated to the best interest of the downtrodden in Assam by visiting villages and singing songs, distributing sanitary pads, concentrating on medical camps but the hidden aim is to indoctrinate the children with Hindutva ideology and teaching hatred against Non-Hindus, read Muslims and Christians.
According to the report and testimony, the helpless children are taught to greet with Namaskar (Hindu greeting) than Hello which is termed as the influence of Christians. It is quoted that in an Aurangabad camp in India, folklore, language, and history are celebrated where anti-Muslim and anti-Christian ideologies are taught. It is called girl-power tactic whereby the bottom line is to appeal to parents of small girls who have ambition for children but lack means. It is a girl-to-girl recruitment strategy.
One article under the headline, ‘Ranis of Chota Kashi’ where a child narrates the ‘jauhar tale’, ‘To save the honor of her husband and the motherland, they must end their lives. Huge piles of wood were made and lit. The rani jumped in, others followed.’ Do read the entire cover story.
The statistics are telling. In June 2015, 31 tribal girls between 3-11 from 5 borders across Assamese districts, are taken to Delhi and to illegal homes where the children are physically attacked and threatened by RSS goons. Truth be told! It’s a form of terrorism.
Human trafficking, especially child trafficking is inhumane, illegal and a blot to humanity. The whole mafia has taken over our system where laws of the land are violated and is a tangled web which lacks the evidence of written complaint. It’s a mafia system. How does one break into the network to ensure that the abducted children are saved and brought back to their parents?
I believe that the Central Welfare Committee (CWC) in India which has the power of a metropolitan or first class judicial management should be vested with more powers, similar to the Supreme Court to hold criminals accountable. There is a high need to revise the CWC legislation where the members are given police protection and their orders are not turned down. Moreover, it is imperative that when CWC members visit the so-called organizations or centers who offer education to ‘abducted’ children’, they should be accompanied by police officers with warrant issued and who must follow CWC directive to arrest the culprits. In turn, the members of CWC should be made accountable.
The Government must be willing to give details such as number of children trafficked, saved and how many of them were sent back to their home safely. Shelters must be established in every nook-and-corner in India with police protection and regular visits by CWC officers where a detailed report should be given to the Government. NGOs can also through the help of well-meaning people in the private sector and the State set up a fund for lawyers to fight cases against human trafficking.
It’s a human tragedy where children who lack the faculty to think for themselves are trafficked and how illiterate parents are brainwashed to send their children away on the pretense of education. Such parents, devoid of basic literacy, should be protected and educated on their rights as citizens in their respective regional languages.
Let’s make a mass movement, a citizen movement to be part of the change. There is no power than the people coming together, irrespective of faiths or religions. We need a human chain that can hold demonstrations across the country to fight the scourge of human trafficking. Let’s build pressure.
Make sure you read the Expose on Outlook India with an open mind.
Postscript: I have immense respect for all religions and this post is not a personal attack on a particular religious group but written with the aim to be part of the change and creating awareness on human trafficking.
References: The Sangh’s Stolen Child Crusade: http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/operation-betiuthao/297626
Ranis of Chhota Kashi
Those Nimn Jaati Girls
Source: Outlook Magazine/Neha Dixit