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Human trafficking cases increasing in Sonitpur tea estates

By Shambhu Boro
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TEZPUR, Dec 27 - The incidents of human trafficking, including children and women, have been increasing in the tea garden areas of Sonitpur district in the last few years.

In a study conducted by a Tezpur-based research scholar, who highlighting an overall scenario of the problem, revealed that there are more than 50 tea gardens in the State and tea garden girls are easy prey for traffickers. Hundreds of teenagers, mostly girls, hailing from the tea gardens of Sonitpur district have never come back.

Marked as one of the epicentres of human trafficking, tea estates like Nahorani and Tinkhuria have emerged as hotbeds where dreams of hundreds of starry-eyed young girls were nipped in the bud, year after year.

Rajashree Goswami, daughter of social worker Ramen Goswami of Rangamati area near here, who has been conducting a research work on the cross-border trafficking problem under Prof Gyan Prakash Pandey, Department of Mass Communication in Assam University, interacting with this correspondent, said that the growing need for better livelihood options and employment have turned these areas into a fertile place for women traffickers. In the past few years, thousands of young men and women of the State have fallen prey to the designs of traffickers and have been exploited as cheap labourers and sex workers.

�The main reason behind trafficking is poverty and lack of awareness. People in these areas hardly know what trafficking is and the legal affairs related to trafficking. Most importantly, even they don�t have a platform to raise their voice,� she said.

In 2016, around 20,000 women and children were victims of human trafficking in India, a rise of almost 25 per cent from the previous year, she said. The National Crime Record Bureau revealed that there is a rise in crime against children since 2009.

�The number of incidents increased from 24,203 in 2009 to 92,172 in 2015, resulting to an increase of almost 300 per cent in a span of six years. The deeper analysis shows that in crime rate, a substantial increase has taken place between 2009 and 2015 due to marriage of minor girls, kidnapping and abduction and selling of minors for prostitution,� she explained.

�As a co-founder of the initiative � Women Empowerment and Development Organisation (WE-DO) � I tried to bring to light the importance of legal literacy among youth and media as an anti-trafficking measure,� she said. Recently, she attended a conference on international anti-human trafficking in Kolkatta in connection with the 175th year celebration of the Loreto Congregation in India, organised by the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre (KMWSC) and Darjeeling Mary Ward Social Centre (DMWSC).

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Human trafficking cases increasing in Sonitpur tea estates

TEZPUR, Dec 27 - The incidents of human trafficking, including children and women, have been increasing in the tea garden areas of Sonitpur district in the last few years.

In a study conducted by a Tezpur-based research scholar, who highlighting an overall scenario of the problem, revealed that there are more than 50 tea gardens in the State and tea garden girls are easy prey for traffickers. Hundreds of teenagers, mostly girls, hailing from the tea gardens of Sonitpur district have never come back.

Marked as one of the epicentres of human trafficking, tea estates like Nahorani and Tinkhuria have emerged as hotbeds where dreams of hundreds of starry-eyed young girls were nipped in the bud, year after year.

Rajashree Goswami, daughter of social worker Ramen Goswami of Rangamati area near here, who has been conducting a research work on the cross-border trafficking problem under Prof Gyan Prakash Pandey, Department of Mass Communication in Assam University, interacting with this correspondent, said that the growing need for better livelihood options and employment have turned these areas into a fertile place for women traffickers. In the past few years, thousands of young men and women of the State have fallen prey to the designs of traffickers and have been exploited as cheap labourers and sex workers.

�The main reason behind trafficking is poverty and lack of awareness. People in these areas hardly know what trafficking is and the legal affairs related to trafficking. Most importantly, even they don�t have a platform to raise their voice,� she said.

In 2016, around 20,000 women and children were victims of human trafficking in India, a rise of almost 25 per cent from the previous year, she said. The National Crime Record Bureau revealed that there is a rise in crime against children since 2009.

�The number of incidents increased from 24,203 in 2009 to 92,172 in 2015, resulting to an increase of almost 300 per cent in a span of six years. The deeper analysis shows that in crime rate, a substantial increase has taken place between 2009 and 2015 due to marriage of minor girls, kidnapping and abduction and selling of minors for prostitution,� she explained.

�As a co-founder of the initiative � Women Empowerment and Development Organisation (WE-DO) � I tried to bring to light the importance of legal literacy among youth and media as an anti-trafficking measure,� she said. Recently, she attended a conference on international anti-human trafficking in Kolkatta in connection with the 175th year celebration of the Loreto Congregation in India, organised by the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre (KMWSC) and Darjeeling Mary Ward Social Centre (DMWSC).