GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - The dark underbelly of Mumbai, more known for the glamour and glitz of Bollywood, is once again exposed with its fast earning the dubious distinction of being the prime destination of trafficked girls from Assam.
The financial capital of the country, according to activists, has sourced a good number of girls and boys from Assam to be employed either as domestic help or forced labour, a trend, which, according to them, has gained momentum in the last few years.
In fact, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an NGO led by Nobel Laureate child rights crusader Kailash Satyarthi, believes that Mumbai has turned into the most favoured destination for traffickers after law enforcers had tightened the noose in and around New Delhi, which over the years remained in the thick of human trafficking activities.
�In fact, it is the poor and uneducated girls of Assam who are being trafficked to meet the growing demand for domestic help and are even exploited in the name of work in spas and massage parlours,� said Rakesh Senger of BBA while talking to this reporter from Mumbai.
Senger said, �There is a dearth of cheap domestic helps in Mumbai and the traffickers with the help of placement agencies are engaging them in such jobs during the day and in the night they are kept in congested places. There are also reports that such girls are pushed into flesh trade.�
�Tribal girls from Assam are in huge demand. We are trying to assess the situation here in Mumbai and take necessary steps with the help of the law-enforcing agencies,� Senger said, adding that, �Even Chennai is catching up when it comes to being one of the destinations for poor and helpless girls.�
He also referred to the recent incident in which the Government Railway Police along with BBA activists on Sunday rescued 12 boys and girls from the Rangiya Railway Station, when they were being transported from Rangapara to Mumbai by two traffickers.
Preliminary investigation revealed that most of the girls were aged below 18, although a confirmation is awaited.
�These young boys and girls, lured in the name of quality living and regular source of income, end up being forced to work under inhuman conditions, or are turned into sex slaves,� Senger added.