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Kaashvi's story

Kaashvi* was 15-years-old when she was rescued. Her story is a string of betrayal and tragedy. She was trafficked three years ago when she was 12-years-old. One day, she was roaming around a market when a lady came up to her and befriended her. The lady took Kaashvi to her house and she stayed still evening. As the night approached, Kaashvi asked the woman to take her home but the lady insisted that she stay the night. Since Kaashvi could not go back by herself she had to stay with the woman. That night, two guys arrived, gave Rs. 30,000 to the lady and took Kaashvi away on the back of a motorbike. When they reached a river, they put her in a small boat and smuggled her across the border to India.

Once in India, she was taken to a house. The men who brought her were given Rs. 50,000. She was imprisoned in the house for 10 days. She was given new clothes including jeans, tops, and other western clothes and asked to dispose of her traditional wear. A man took her to Pune. She was told to say that he was her father if anyone asked and he threatened to kill if she created any reason for suspicion. On reaching Pune, Urmila, a brothel keeper, and Salma, a Bangladeshi who was assisting Urmila came to the station to collect Kaashvi. She is not sure about how much money they gave to the man.

The next day, Kaashvi was given a customer. She bled so much that she had to be admitted to a hospital. Urmila was charged for this but no action was taken against her. Kaashvi was hospitalized for almost 2 months. Once discharged, she was forced to prostitute again. She was given as many as 10 customers a day. Sundays were the busiest. Some of them used to give her tips and she saved the extra money and made jewelry. After almost two years there she’d saved Rs. 10,000 and possessed some gold ornaments which she thought would be enough to take her back to Bangladesh.

With her savings and gold, she fled from the brothel and took a rickshaw to the train station. But she did not know what to do next. She waited at the station. She met a man who recognized her from the brothel and he threatened her. But she managed to get rid of him.

When night fell, two men came up to Kaashvi and offered to help her. They took her to a place high up on a hill. They took her gold and left her there. She managed to get to Sarasbagh after that. She still had the cash with her but she did not know anyone. Again, a lady came and struck up a conversation with her. She confided in the lady who then invited Kaashvi to stay at her place. The lady said she had to pay a monthly rent. Kaashvi agreed and stayed with her and her family. This lady made Kaashvi an escort and she was taken to various hotels on the outskirts of Pune city for prostitution.

After a few months, Kaashvi again managed to escape. This time a good auto driver spotted her. She told him that she was from Bangladesh and new to the city. He took her to Duttawadi Police station and from there the police brought her to Protective Home for Girls at Nanapeth.

Kaashvi's story came up in the Times newspaper on 20th May 2011. The couple involved in exploiting her at Sarasbagh has been arrested.

Kaashvi was reunited with her family about a year after rescue and is finally safe.

*name changed to protect identity


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