21st Feb 2014, New Delhi
FXB India Suraksha, with support from UN Women is implementing in Jharkhand the Suraksha Program on preventing trafficking at source areas by working with adolescent girls and women and building local accountability to promote safe migration. The Program is working tirelessly on prevention of trafficking at source by organizing village level meeting at regular interval to sensitize local community about safe migration and implication of being trafficked. One such three day residential workshop- Jagek Bera was organised in Ranchi for adolescent tribal girls.
Jagek Bera- a Three day residential workshop for adolescent tribal girls in Ranchi
The team is closely working with the elected representatives to promote and check migration by initiating a system to record the migration data at Panchyat level. Adult girl groups are formed at village levels who are actively working as vigilant members of the villages. Currently there are 374 adolescents who are acting as a change agent in numerous villagers of Namkum Block, of Jharkhand out of which some are school goers while some are daily wage earners. The organisational support from the Suraksha Program have helped the girls form groups named Sakhi, Komal, Chanchal, Tara, Beli, etc. that helps address the issues regarding anti-trafficking and migration as well as sensitizing people. During their meetings they are not only made aware about the core issues but also about the basic health and hygiene for which they have collaborated with village health committee. The organisations also work closely with ASHA and Anganwari workers in strengthening the implementation of SABLA scheme under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). To enhance their interpersonal skills, capacity building trainings are also organized for Women's Group Formation – Mahila Samiti and women trained on laws and functioning of Mahila Samiti to stop migration and human trafficking.
Nukkad Natak being performed by the girls as part of the awareness program
In nutshell, The Suraksha program has adopted a multidimensional and multi-sectoral, integrated approach through capacity building trainings which links long-term interventions with more immediately implementable actions.
Since last two years, the local community along with the team is fighting the battle of against trafficking in full zest. Jharkhand being one of the most vulnerable source for trafficking made itself an obvious choice for both the organisations to design interventions.
And it was only a few weeks ago, the efforts of mobilising the community against the issue began to show the first result, when they helped reunite two rescued girls from Delhi with their families in Jharkhand.
Five years to freedom
5 long years - Away from home - How does it feel?
When asked to two girls from a remote village of Jharkhand, who disappeared without a trace but was rescued recently, replies with little emotion- "Acha lag rha hai", eyes clearly full of hidden sentiments.
The story clocks to 2008, when two teenage tribal girls, who were good friends and belonged to the same remote village in Jharkhand, disappeared without a trace. Their parents after several efforts went clueless about the whereabouts. The only fact they knew was that they had gone to Delhi to earn money for the family.
Fast forward to 2014, the families had received neither any news nor any money from their daughters.
Last week, after much effort, these girls were rescued from two separate homes in Delhi-NCR by FXB India Suraksha with the support from Jharkhand Police.
One of the girls, who dreamt of becoming an English teacher and was studying in a government school of Nishchitpur in Ranchi district of Jharkhand when she was pushed into the trafficking trade, was rescued from a home in Vivek Vihar, Ghaziabad. The other girl, who is from Dundigara in Ranchi district of Jharkhand, was rescued from a house in Pitampura, Delhi.
Both of them have lived all these years with a fear named Ravinder Kumar Rathi who got them to the national capital. They regret of being reliable to Rathi and are very relieved to gain freedom from his claws. While the girl from Dundigara had happy memories of working with a family, for the other girl the last few years has been a story of abusive employers. She had to switch to numerous homes in Delhi, Haryana even Rajasthan. “Many times, I thought of and even tried running away, but would wonder where to go as I was even not allowed to speak to my parents", says the girl from Nischitpur. Her fate however took a positive turn when one afternoon she managed to talk to her brother and passed on her contact information. That helped the police to trace her address and rescue them out.
Such cases being very common in Jharkhand, FXB India Suraksha, with support from UN Women is piloting a project on presentation of trafficking and promoting safe migration in Hurua panchayat of Ranchi district in Jharkhand. It was a vigilance committee of villagers that helped the guardians connect with the FXB India Suraksha team which would finally help them reunite with their girls.
Both the girls were brought to the capital by a man named Ravinder Kumar Rathi. Photo- FXB India Suraksha
One of the staff members of FXB India Suraksha who visited the family in Ranchi, recalls, “I could easily make out the pain in mothers heart. Her moist eyes hopeful of reunion kept pleading about her missing child only give them hope that our efforts will find a happy ending”.
"I had heard of Delhi so many times and dreamt of visiting the city once in my life, but never thought this is how I will end up going to the capital. Thanks to FXB India Suraksha who organized our travel”, says father of the girl from Dundigarha, who is a farmer earning meagre Rs 100 per day. A smile lights up his eyes as he adds, “But now I can happily enjoy the joy ride, as I found my daughter back after so long.”
Now when the fathers have met their daughters, now aged between 20 and 22, the realization has dawned on them that their daughters were actually trafficked and were facing abuse.
After the cases were registered last year, it was found that the trafficker named Ravinder Kumar Rathi was sent to Tihar jail in a murder case. The Delhi Police Special Cell said Rathi who ran a placement agency in Delhi called Goodwill Placement Agency had previously been charged on several counts of trafficking. A case has been lodged against him under sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to trafficking and the SC/ST Act.