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Amoli: A chakravyuh of child sexual exploitation

A police raid at a place , the way to the secret door not higher than your average bed…inside within a gap wall of 3 ft, cowed in a far corner, terrified minor girls all decked up in makeup and fancy dresses, being rescued from a brothel. Ages of the girls – just 12-13 years. Chilling real life images and happenings which can disturb you. This is no fictional story, this is what I experienced when I watched Amoli- a 30 minute documentary on sexual exploitation of children. Amoli means precious- precious is each and every child. In India they go missing, rarely to be found, lost in the dark hole of flesh trade. The root cause of all these things are the very few common types which we all know, the starting point of which is poverty. There are a lot of things which are systematically to make sure that this remains the most lucrative business in the whole world after dealing of arms and narcotics.

The story starts with any place in India, in the village which is not so economically developed, literate. All about the need to get out of poverty or the immediate need for money which is the starting point for such trade and the most shocking is the entry of children into this. Why children? Well because they are easy to be lured because they don’t know what’s happening with them and whether they should distrust the person. In majority of cases the starting point is someone they know, once lured on the pretext of a better life in a big city either unknowingly or via deals through their parents for as meager amount as 1000 bucks they are exchanged hands the same way a commodity in a market does. This does not mean that this is the end, this is just the start of a chakravyuh. They are once again sold to any red light area/brothel for further 70,000 to 2 lakhs of rupees. Then these poor girls are milked for all they’re worth and even more... for the entire lifetime. 

Survival stories are equally horrendous. I had read in the newspapers about these children being given hormone injections to make sure that they look much older than the what really are and few survivor stories told us that these girls are given the same injections so that they look at least 26, double than what they really are. It’s a permanent damage both physically and mentally which can’t be reversed. It’s not just red light areas we are talking about. This thing happens in homes where the devils are the relatives too. A girl saying that she was bought by a person for just Rs. 1000, given hormonal injections, subjected to bondage, physical and sexual abuse, rape, burning of private parts just because that person liked it that way and relation of that person with the girl- her tauji. How much more disgusting it gets you would be thinking but I say that it’s a lot more murkier. If you try to put forth picture in front of you of what I actually saw on screen was something like this… Imagine a 12-year-old girl in a normal home when she is forcefully applied make-up or even dressed in bright colour clothes just because there is a function in the home or she has to go to a friend`s birthday party, you get the scene?? Now replace the background with that of a brothel/private home/massage parlour and  hungry predators eyeing them for sex. That’s a majority of children look like when they are rescued in a live raid.

Even if someone wants to come out of this, they cant because prostitution has been going on in the family since generations and they have to uphold the “tradition”. With years of abuse these children have lost the will to trust people and that is evident in the fear these children have in their eyes the movement they are rescued. It takes a lot of coaxing by woman members of the NGOs in the raid, the sympathetic police force officers to actually make the children move even an inch from their hiding places. You can’t force them to come out, they might hurt themselves in fear. When I was thinking that why parents don’t raise an alarm then comes the answer, they don’t know anything plus they are fine till the money keeps flowing, the alarm bells ring only when it stops and by the time they realise that it has gone all wrong these Abhimanyus have long been lost in the maze of the chakrayuh. Their life is not easy even after being rescued because the stigma of society of all that crap destroys their rehab. Their families refuse to take them back, they are left with no other way than a shelter home. The only way they can start rebuilding their lives is by economic empowerment which I’m sorry to say but is pathetic in this country for woman in general so you can very well understand what happens with victims of sexual exploitation. The girls are learning to read and write maybe even taking up defence classes in the process but how far will……….. Even my words now are failing to form a thought process.

You can’t catch these people so easily because the modus operandi has changed. No longer in red light areas or brothels  it has far expanded to social media, whatsapp, Facebook and places like private homes, farmhouses, hotels and one of the most shadiest places we all know- the massage parlours. Its not about just children, no way, it expands to teenage college going girls who double up as high-profile call girls in various cities. In this flesh trade everything sells. The nexus of culprits and police is well-known in all areas and this is no exception. If a girl is supplied to any private property of the customer he is also told an alternate way to escape in case there is a police treat. If a raid happens, the customer has already fled, the girl remains and the vicious circle of sexual exploitation and prostitution continues. A child missing for more than four months is automatically deemed to have been pushed into the trafficking mode but by the time this realisation draws to reality those months have passed away and there is very less time of finding these girls. In search of better avenues these girls are trapped from all parts of the country and in quite few cases from the neighbouring countries too. 

This documentary concluded in just 30 minutes but it questioned us at every single step about a problem which we have very easily chosen to overlook because it doesn’t concern us, we don’t care, it can’t happen with me. That’s the whole issue. We can be vocal about political issues, sporting events  but topics such as these… We do nothing.

Not related to sexual exploitation but due to the fact that trafficking concerns exploitation of all kinds, if you want to have a read I would suggest you a novel. Its written by one of India’s most finest military authors in recent times – Mukul Deva. Called “A pound of flesh” the fictional characters deal with the real world issue of Organ trafficking. When you would go through the novel you could actually fear the pain, the race against time to save the people and everything.. Maybe after you give a read you would you be able to understand what it is about being captured in this dark web of exploitation. One thing is sure is that either you are stuck in the web of either Organ or sexual trafficking, there is no coming back because as per this novel the more time passes away, the less chance is to find the victim alive.

The children in this flesh trade have probably been lost forever, what we can do is to make some effort to make sure to blow the whistle, tip off the lead whenever we feel that a child is being trafficked. Who knows where he or she might end up? Our one effort can save a life.

Things going bad- yes they are, increasingly read or heard stories everyday of minors being sexually abused, sometimes even killed..and the latest ghastly story- rape of 5 women from an anti trafficking organisation.. the law?? Well its only in books as of now, conviction is negligible as the corrupt nexus of system still exists with the law enforcement agencies toothless and spineless than ever before.

As a blogger, years back I wrote a post saying that there is no blogging culture in Lucknow and I would say that the happenings of such events in the city must continue and bloggers, social media influencers should come out and attend these events so that a formidable blogger force can be developed in this city which can take up these events and happenings to places where they’ll reach a much wider audience - the web.

This event was jointly organised by Youth ki Awaaz and at Sheroes Hangout - a name which is now synonymous with the rehab of acid attack victims.

Amoli: A chakravyuh of child sexual exploitation Amoli: A chakravyuh of child sexual exploitation Reviewed by Shwetabh on 12:10:00 PM Rating: 5

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