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A New Dream

After her rescue from a brothel, 14 year old Kanchan now dreams of becoming a police officer!

We first heard about Kanchan in February of 2023 while we were investigating different areas in Uttar Pradesh. It took us two months to locate her at at a brothel in Kanpur in April. On April 13th, we proceeded to Kanpur to find and rescue her before she disappeared without a trace again.

Kanchan at the police station after rescue, wearing the hat of a rescuing officer.

On the morning of the 14th, the team gathered in Kanpur and started discussing rescue strategies. Later that day our liaison officer met the Additional Superintendent of Police, ASP, Kanpur, and presented evidence of 14 year old Kanchan. He told us that he needed to make some calls and that he would keep us posted. We left his office and went to have lunch. We had barely started our lunch and the ASP called and asked us to come to his office as a team from the crime branch were there to discuss more about Kanchan’s rescue. We abandoned our meal and rushed to his office.

Once we reached the ASPs office we discussed rescue strategies with him and the team from the crime branch.

Operation Kanchan

At 4 pm, we all proceeded to the brothel. At approximately 4:20 pm the police and our team initiated the raid and 14 year old Kanchan was rescued from one of the rooms. The police collected evidence and arrested a total of seven women and three men.

Driving away after rescue, relief and joy on all the faces

We had a few challenges at the police station following the rescue operation. The police refused to add The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (POCSO) to the First Information Report. Including this act would strengthen Kanchan’s case, increasing the probability that the accused would be convicted and sentenced to jail and Kanchan getting compensation. After many discussions and debates, the report was finally complete at 11:40 pm.

We accompanied Kanchan to a one stop centre, a temporary shelter, where she would be staying till the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) passed an order for where she would stay longer term.

Kanchan has a snack before an appointment

On 18th April, Kanchan recorded her 164 statement (164 statement is a voluntary statement in which the victim shares her experience at the brothel and names of the accused) before a special court in Kanpur. Then she was taken back to the one stop center. On April 19th we accompanied her to the CWC who passed an order that she be placed in a shelter home in Kanpur.

Kanchan waits for her turn in court


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