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Tina's story

First-person narrative

My sister worked as a prostitute but I was oblivious to it for a long time. It was only after a series of events that I realized she was willingly doing the work. She once took me to a hotel where she worked, but even then, I was blinded to reality. One day, she took me to see a man in Haldia. He asked my sister if I wanted to work too. My sister said yes but I refused to work as I did not know what the job was.

One night, I was sleeping beside my mother when I felt her moving away. When I asked her where she was going, she said that she would come back soon. A man named Gautham came into the room after a while and forced me to get on his bike. He drove us to a brothel. When we went inside, I saw a room full of men and girls. Gautham took me to a small room and told me that I would have to do what all the other girls did here. I wept for a long time and pleaded with the brothel keepers to let me go. Instead, they hit me and gave me something to drink, after which I don’t know what happened. I was abused by several men. This went on for a year.

On regular occasions, I saw my mother and sister come to collect my earnings. I started to hate them and missed my father. He was unaware that my own mother and sister had sold me into this trade.

One day, while I was in the bathroom, I realized a raid was taking place in the brothel. All the girls were running away but I sat there because I wanted the police to find me and bring me to safety. A few staff from an anti-trafficking organization saw me and took me with them. After my rescue, I was sent to a short-stay home. I am glad that I was rescued from that place but I miss my father.

Tina was rescued in February 2010. In a study conducted five years ago, the family claimed that the father and her three elder brothers knew nothing about Tina being in a brothel.

In June 2015, Tina’s father narrated how he had gone to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and also to the shelter home but he couldn’t muster the courage to see Tina as he knew he would break down if Tina started crying. He also shared that he stays at home most days to care for his wife who has been battling cancer.

When he learned that his eldest daughter had trafficked Tina into the brothel, he broke down and cried. He insisted that Tina should be brought back home to stay.

However, a few days before Tina was to visit her family, we got news that her mother passed away.

*name changed to protect identity


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