Families who sell their daughters
After rescue, Binti* was progressing very well at the short-stay home at Nagpur. She responded positively to counseling and therapeutic sessions and willingly participated in other activities. Binti shared her story of being forced into prostitution and often talked about how much she hated being in the sex trade. She was determined not to return to prostitution after her release from the shelter home.
In May, a social worker and intern visited Shankarapura village in Rajasthan to see how Binti was doing back in her hometown. According to the police, Shankarpura village is infamous for criminal activity. The people in the village are predominantly made up of the Kanjar community who view theft and illegal liquor making as credible sources of income. The police mentioned that the villagers were stealing grain from the government-run school, which is meant to provide children from low-income families with a mid-day meal. The Kanjar community is also known for selling minor girls into prostitution.
During the home visit, Binti's parents and siblings were present but she was missing. On enquiring about Binti, her father smiled and said that she was attending a wedding in another town. The social worker asked the parents to produce an invitation card for the wedding but her family did not have one. The team wanted to drive to the town where the wedding was taking place to meet Binti, but her parents refused to give them any specific information. The team questioned the family as to why Binti was sent alone to attend the wedding and why no one else from the family accompanied her. They refused to answer the question.
The family was unwilling to disclose where Binti really was. Unfortunately, we suspect she has been re-trafficked.
*name changed to protect identity