On February 15, 2018, Freedom Firm rescued Bindu from the red-light area in Sangli, Maharashtra with the help of local police. Her brothel keeper was arrested and a criminal complaint filed.
In her statement at the police station, Bindu claimed to be 20 years old even though she looked younger. Rescued girls are often tutored by their brothel keepers to inflate their age in order to avoid prosecution.
Our social workers discovered that Bindu’s mother passed away when she was only 10 yrs old. Soon after her mother’s death, she was looked after by an aunt in a neighbouring village since her father was an alcoholic. Her aunt was only able to look after her for two years and sent her home to her father.
When she returned home, she learnt that her father had remarried and did not accept her into the family. With no one to look after her, a lady named Rekha trafficked her to a brothel in Solapur (190 kms from Sangli).
In October 2017, Bindu was moved to Sangli where she had to service around 12-13 customers per day between 10 am and 10-11 pm. Each customer paid Rs. 300 ($4.60) for sex with Bindu. Out of that money she had to pay the brothel keeper Rs. 150 per customer and Rs. 100 per day towards food.
Bindu is at a short stay home where she finds it difficult to cope with the staff and the other girls. Freedom Firm social workers are meeting her consistently to build rapport and provide counselling.
*Name changed to protect identity