Zoya Rescued Quickly

Updated: Sep 28

On the 15th of September we received a lead from another NGO about 14 year old Zoya, a minor girl who was trafficked from Kolkata to Nagpur for prostitution. After going through all the information, we contacted the police in Kolkata. When we had more details

from the police about Zoya, we set out to find her. Through one of our contacts, we were able to locate Zoya’s current location, a posh residential row house in Bramhapuri, Chandrapur in Maharashtra which was approximately a three hour drive from our office.


On 16th September we had collected sufficient evidence about Zoya, to present it Zoya was trafficked roughly 750 miles from home

to the Superintendent of Police in Chandrapur.

After reviewing the evidence he agreed to initiate a rescue the next day.


Operation Zoya

At 2 pm on 17th September the police raided the brothel. The brothel keepers - a young couple in their mid thirties - were arrested. They were actually living on the ground floor with their two young children while they ran the first floor as a brothel! We found Zoya with a customer in a room on the first floor. After evidence was collected, the police, victim, the accused and our team went to the police station where the police filed a First Information Report. The accused’s children who were also present during the raid, were sent to their grandparents house.


Zoya was produced before Zoya with the social worker during the rescue

the Child Welfare Committee who passed an order that she be sent to a One Stop Center (a temporary shelter home for children and women in distress.) The next morning while we accompanied Zoya to the hospital for her medical tests, the accused was produced in Court where the judge ordered that they continue to remain in police custody untill Friday, 23rd September.


Zoya is still in the One Stop Centre, on Friday September 23rd, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) will make a decision about Zoya’s future - released to her parents or Zoya and social worker during the raid moved to a shelter home in Maharashtra or Kolkata.


* * *


Shortly after her rescue, Social Workers Shelly and Shreyosi were able to locate Zoya's home village in Kolkata. They conducted a home investigation to make a recommendation to the CWC about where Zoya should live. Zoya’s house was in one of the poorer localities and made of bamboo and brick. Zoya’s mother was at home. She shared that she worked as a domestic helper and earned Rs 5000 (~$65) a month. She believed that Zoya had run away with a neighbour's daughter to work in a beauty parlor. She is afraid if Zoya returns home that she will once again disappear, and thinks it is best for her to remain at the shelter. Zoya is currently living in a shelter home in Chandrapur, Maharashtra.


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