Why Can’t Jharkhand Stop Rampant Human-Trafficking Incidents?

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Last month, another sordid chapter was added in the ongoing saga of thriving human trafficking episode of Jharkhand state and mind you this incident won’t be the last incident.

In the said incident, a NGO with the help of Delhi police rescued a young Jharkhandi girl child, who was working as a domestic help in the posh locality of South Delhi colony. The rescue team was horrified to find a half-naked girl, whose heavily bruised body and badly disfigured face had deep cut, besides eyes and ear lobes were swollen, due to sound and regular thrashing. It seemed that the young girl was beaten mercilessly by the inhuman monster. Human-rights are damned.

Young domestic help from Jharkhand

It was found by police that Vandana Dhir, Head-Communication Department of a multinational company living in posh South Delhi colony of Vasant Kunj; she was her employer and was responsible for her cruel beating. Lots more tales of her brutal behaviour has began to come out in the open. The fact the she belong to well-educated and well-off section of society, puts a question mark on our civil society? Is this the way, the powerful people treat their Domestic helpers, behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of civilized people?

Dorothy runs the placement agency from which, Vandana Dhir had hired the said young Jharkhandi tribal girl from economically backward Sahibganj district, to work as maid. It is no surprise that Dorothy too belongs to Jharkhand and actively involved in the trafficking of the young children from Jharkhand, for last so many years, completely unchecked by the concerned government authorities.

But Dorothy is not alone. According to the NGOs working in the field of curbing cases of Human-Trafficking cases, there are few thousand Placement Agency working right under establishment’s nose besides the Human-Trafficking is a well-oiled and multi-crore rupees industry in India.

One often wonders, why Human-Trafficking industry continues to prosper in Jharkhand state, despite the tall claims made by the Governments.

Well, the reasons are simple.

The Human-Trafficking industry thrives in Jharkhand because of high demand matched by high supply of the same.

We need to understand that this is a cold-blooded, pure economic terms. It is harsh way to look at Human-Trafficking incidents, but this is reality and we cannot brush it under the carpet, wish it away, even if we want to. The commoditization of humans is rampant and no where it is more evident than in the cases of Human-Trafficking.

In the above mentioned case Rs. 30000 was exchanged between the employer Vandana Dhir and the placement agency owner Dorothy.

# Need To Tackle Demand Side of Human Trafficking Industry

In the light of the above facts, the Human-trafficking incidents would continue to take place unless the Government takes positive steps to curb the demand side of the young boys and girls (cheap human labour) from Jharkhand (and other less developed states) to our metropolitan cities (and other prosperous parts of our country).

The demand for the lower priced human labour (they are young and less likely to create labour problems) comes not only from the people looking for domestic-helpers, but also from the business owners looking for cheap-labourers for their notorious sweatshops, and shockingly even from the criminals running the child-prostitution rackets in big-bad world.

According to the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy defined in our constitutions,

• No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment (Article 24);

• State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age six to 14 years. (Article 21 (A));

• State shall direct its policy towards securing that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age and strength (Article 39-e);

• Children shall be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth shall be protected against moral and material abandonment (Article 39-f);

• State shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years (Article 45).

Besides there are scores of legislation against the Child labour, yet the ground realities are in complete contrast to the rights and principles stated above. The problem lies with the corrupt implementations of these rights, principles and legislation by the government authorities. Burgeoning human-trafficking industry can be checked and dismantled, but it needs strong political will to honestly implement the corrective measures by the government authorities.

# Need To Tackle Supply Side of Human Trafficking Industry

In any society plagued by vast economical inequalities, the children born in economically poor sections of society are most vulnerable lot as their parents are often forced to treat them as earning hands than the young kids, who should go to school, get educated and hopefully break the cycle of poverty.

Our Jharkhand state is often described as “a Rich state with Poor people”; with the Left-extremism hovering in background and the unbridled corruptions at every step of life in rural part of the state, it is no doubt that lots of family fall prey to the lucrative promises made by the thugs involved in the human-trafficking businesses.

If one happens to visit the rural hinterland of Jharkhand and experience their poverty from close quarters, then only one would understand the plight and circumstances under which many of these poverty-stricken families send their beloved children faraway places, to work and earn a decent living. For them it’s a chance to escape from the life of scarcity and deprivations.

Family of young tribal girl from Sahibganj, Jharkhand

In reality these poor families are caught between the devil and deep blue sea; their sufferings does not end as the lucrative promises made by the placement agencies are seldom fulfilled, as these families are often cheated. Having lost their young children, when these families are forced to run from pillar to post after the authorities, they come across the unsympathetic government machinery, which usually turns a blind eye. Who really has time for poor and helpless people?

Unless Jharkhand Government takes sincere and honest approach to keep young children in schools, control left-extremism as well as provide gainful employment to poor people living in rural and semi-urban areas; we may not see any abatement in the supply of young children labour, they would continue to fall in the trap set by the so-called placement agencies backed by greedy local Jharkhandi dalaal (broker) like Dorothy and the young children would continue to be mercilessly beaten up by the employers like Vandana Dhir.

Government needs to take corrective steps to stop human-trafficking, but we do not see that happening in the near future.

It’s not in the government’s agenda.

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Sameer Bhagat

Written by

Social-Activist. Author of SALVAGING ADIDWEEP.


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