Beda Sasaram, Uttar Pradesh/Bihar border
Taking new territory in the war against child sex-trafficking in completely wild, uneducated and relatively lawless towns and cities is as dangerous in India as it was 150 years ago in the Wild West of the United States. Beda Sasaram is a town on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where no other anti-trafficking NGO's have paved the way with prior rescues. Police, judges, advocates, public prosecutors and government shelter staff are not familiar raiding brothels and rescuing minors. Corruption is rife. There is nothing safe about these raids and nothing predictable.
On September 30th, two minors between the ages of 14 and 15 were rescued from Beda Sasaram. After the rescue, people in the community began to hurl stones at Freedom Firm staff. Jyoti, the Regional Director in Nagpur, was hit by a stone on her arm. The police had to take out their lathi sticks to control the oncoming mob and protect our staff. The girls, pictured below, were taken for a medical test while two brothel keepers were arrested.
However, the day after the raid, the situation at the court became complicated. Jyoti explained, “After the girls were rescued, the judge didn’t want to pass an order to protect the girls. He wanted to release them.” The Freedom Firm staff waited in court to advocate for the girls. Finally Jyoti reported the good news: “Two minors were sent to the shelter home. Pray for the rehabilitation process.”
Although these raids present many dangers and difficulties, rescuing young girls is worth the risk.
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