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No end to the misery of domestic helps

KELLY KISHALAYA IN TIMES OF INDIA

RANCHI: Violence against domestic helps from Jharkhand working in metros is a common incident. Most of the girls who were trafficked from Jharkhand to Delhi and other cities like Gurgaon and Ghaziabad have to suffer inhuman physical and mental torture which often lead to trauma.

Many incidents of rape and other forms of sexual harassment have also been reported in recent times. Several such cases came to light in the year 2013 after the state CID compiled data on trafficked victims.

According to the data, as many as 300 cases of trafficking were registered with the police since January 2001 to November 2013. Of these, the highest number of cases, 94, were registered in 2013, followed by 76 in 2012 and 44 in 2011.

First, the death of two 14 years old girls Jyoti Mariyam Horo and Jaymani Gurriya who worked as domestic helps in Delhi created a controversy which even forced the team of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to visit their home town Khunti and prepare a report on the situation there.

This was followed by the death of Phulmani Nagesia who committed suicide under suspicious circumstances in the home of her employer in Ghaziabad.

Another case of death of 40-year-old Isha Lakra in Delhi came to light. Investigation had revealed that all the deceased persons were tortured by their employers.

Some girls were luckier and they managed to return to their home, but in a pathetic situation.

Case of Phulin Kisku, the girl who was brutally beaten up by the woman who was her employer and had to be admitted in hostel and undergo several surgeries to rectify her wounds which had developed maggots infection.

There was another case in which a 19 year old girl was raped by the employee of a placement agency and was sent back home pregnant.

In another case, a 19-year-old girl was rescued from GB Road, a red light area of Jharkhand where she was pushed into flesh trade and beaten up every day.

Sita Diya, secretary of Diya Sewa Sansthan, who has been working for trafficked children and have been a part of many rescue operations, said, “This data is much less than the number of girls who are missing from Jharkhand. Many cases have still not reached the police. The biggest problem is that no action is being taken against the placement agencies of Delhi who are taking girls from here. Also, there are many agents on whom FIR has been lodged in Jharkhand but they are still moving freely in Delhi.”

Member of NGO Shakti Vahini, Rishi Kant, who has been involved in most of the rescue operations of trafficked victims said that the two reason behind increasing violence against the trafficked girls is gender insensitivity and employers being very rich.

He said, “The employers think that they have the money to buy the police and hire good lawyers so they can do anything they want. They usually exploit the poor girls from Jharkhand because they think that these girls are voiceless and there is nobody to fight for them. The biggest apathy is when the statutory bodies like NCPCR and women’s commission become toothless.”

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