ABHAY SINGH // firstname.lastname@example.org // New Delhi, 24 August
Seventeen-year-old Aarti (name changed), who hails from West Bengal, tried to become a doctor, but her dream shattered when she was clandestinely brought to Delhi by traffickers in 2012 – pathetically in connivance with her father. In her two years of fight, she came to know about the heinous act of her father only when the latter forced her to withdraw the case against the accused. Despite this, she did not want to file a case against her father.
Precisely, her father had sold her to the trafficker, identified as Raj, in the national capital who, along with his friends, physically assaulted her. She was brought to Delhi by a lady under the supervision of Raj and was kept in Majnu ka Tila for few days where Raj and his friend Raju tortured her physically when she refused not get into flesh trade. She was then sold to a GB Road brothel.
“One Day Aarti came in contact with a ‘good customer’ before whom she narrated her ordeal and requested him to help her in getting out of the place. The customer then phoned her father and informed him about her whereabouts,” said Rishikant, member of Shakti Vahini, the NGO which rescued her. In fact, the victim’s father approached the NGO that took the help of police in rescuing the girl. Raj was also arrested.
Aarti was produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) who gave her custody to her father. Returning to her village, she was re-admitted to her school. However, her trouble did not end here. She got threatening calls to withdraw the case against the accused. “I later learnt that Raj’s friends were stalking her and were threatening her to withdraw the case,” said Arti. Unable to resist the harassment by he accused, he left her village. All these stood as a social stigma to her and her family.
Once again the girl contacted Shakti Vahini who communicated the matter to the concerned authorities within the state for her protection. The girl even communicated the matter to the Tis Hazari court in Delhi. The judge directed Delhi Police to escort the girl from West Bengal to Delhi for her deposition in the court. Finally, the court convicted the accused and ordered 10 years of imprisonment with a certain amount of fine. The court also ordered the closure of the brothel from where she was rescued.
Today, Aarti has been living with her relatives in 24-North Pargana, West Bengal. “I am happy that the brothel is closed due to my fight. Many girls were also rescued from the brothel,” Aarti said with a smile.