Saheli Dey: West Bengal has been reported as the second-highest number of human trafficking related incidents in 2015 with a tally of 20.1 percent of all crimes across the country. More than 1,255 women and children from Bengal went untraceable in 2015 as per reports by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).
The questions that arise are – Where did they go? Were they abducted? Were they sold for money? Are they still alive? But, unfortunately none has any answer. Missing women and children are ever increasing their numbers in government files and reports by various organizations. For their families, hope never dies.
A family in Madhyamgram spent sleepless nights when their 16 year old daughter did not contact them for more than 6 months. As per locals, a neighbor took her to Burdwan promising her with a job at a doctor’s house. But no one could ever imagine that their little girl would land up in a hotel in Ahmedabad, where she would be forced into prostitution. She was later on rescued with the help of the local police. But how many girls can be lucky like this one? Only a few, perhaps!
A daughter, who is born and brought up by her parents, gets trafficked. Why are the women so unsafe? Parents nurture their daughters to see that, one day, their daughter faces the brutality by a section of human-ghouls? A mother or a father can never even imagine this in their worst nightmares. How can some ghouls perform such carnal activities in reality? Do these men have no family?
A common source of human trafficking is the Sundarbans. The Sundarbans are so remote that the only way to get there is by boat. But human traffickers still manage to get in, and that’s left many families with missing daughters. Natural disasters leading to poverty and a general condition of hunger are two major reasons. Lack of awareness and declining value system are other factors.
Men and women of ill brewing mindsets are bound to come across or get involved in crime. But how did these mindsets develop? Lack of awareness is a main determining factor. But is it the only reason?
The governments, both at the state level and the Centre, have to be blamed. What efforts did they take protecting the society from the grips of such heinous crime? They did take proper measures, but not at the right time. The example of the girl mentioned above is the one where the girl gets rescued. Commendable efforts by the police force and all others involved in her rescue. But can anyone cure the mental trauma that the girl will face in the forthcoming days of her life? Who will rescue and free her mind from this deadly evil? Why this type of crime’s on the rise? The police have to detect that.
Several women and children are trafficked from the North Bengal every year who mainly work in the tea gardens. So many goes missing. How many could resurface again? The state government fails in its functioning when there is no answer to where these women and children go. The government should and must maintain an official register to maintain the number of women workers in the gardens. Though there are several ‘Yojanas’, yet nothing has been done so far in this aspect. The state government needs to be criticized, but the central government cannot be ignored too. It is duty of the Centre to trace that which would be the destinations of those ‘missing’ peoples.
Anti-trafficking units of the police have even failed to curb this violence on women. Huge sums are spent to set up these units, but for what use? Proper training is the main factor lacking in these units. The training, that they are provided, is not up-to-the-mark. The plans that they abide by, are not even revised. Sheer negligence is the utmost reason for its failure. Even if they are set up well, but proper man force is lacking. Lack of infrastructure also adds to it. It is alleged that the central funding for these units is also inadequate.
New generation traffickers have adopted new schemes and technologies. But have we adopted new combating ideas? No. This is where traffickers outsmart the police force in spite of their earnest efforts.
Human trafficking has become the fastest growing criminal industry all over the Asia and Africa. The number of missing women and children are rising every year. If there is a will, there is a way. Measures and steps must come from every hook and corner of the society. So if we want, we can change. If West Bengal can be on its way to change to Bengal and Bangla, then West Bengal can also be on its way to wipe away their name from the NCRB’s human trafficking list. But for that, every part and aspect of the community needs to join hands and eradicate such heart breaking incidents. Let us not just plan to eradicate this crime united. Let us say, United We Rise, United We Win!