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Northeast girls in metros forced into prostitution: NGO:-
Guwahati | September 15, 2005 8:25:05 AM IST
Gullible young girls from the northeast are being forced into
prostitution in the metropolises after being lured by organised syndicates
promising them glamorous careers and lucrative jobs, a rights group has said.
"The situation is extremely serious with smart operators flooding the
northeast hunting for good looking young girls for modelling assignments or jobs
in call centres with good salaries," said Hasina Kharbih, chairperson of
Impulse NGO Network, a rights group working in rescuing women trafficked from
the northeast. "But in reality, many of these women were pushed into the
notorious world of prostitution." Impulse activists recently rescued at
least four young girls from Mumbai. "The girls were from Meghalaya and
Assam and were lured by agents who promised them good modelling roles and
handsomely paid jobs in call centres," Kharbih told IANS.
"We were told by these rescued girls that there were more
women from the northeast in the flesh trade racket who were trapped with such
baits." A new craze for careers in modelling among teenagers in India's
northeast region, spurred by television and newspaper advertisements, is being
cited as reasons for traffickers wooing unsuspecting girls into their net.
"Northeastern girls are generally fair and have good features, akin to
Nepali women, who until recently were much sought after by pimps for flesh
trading," another rights activist said. "Today northeastern girls are
in demand in the flourishing prostitution racket in cities like Mumbai, New
Delhi, Kolkata, and even Bangalore and Pune."
Most of these girls, trapped by organised rackets, come from
middle class families. "Seedy operators also scout for good looking girls
from poor families. We have come across and rescued girls belonging to families
living below the poverty line who were sold to the traffickers," Kharbih
said. The Impulse network, headquartered at Meghalaya's state capital Shillong,
has rescued 12 girls this year from New Delhi and Mumbai - all of them belonging
to poor families.
"These girls in the age group of 16 to 18 years were
lured in the name of jobs outside and then pushed into prostitution,"
Kharbih said. Activists of the Impulse network and other rights groups discussed
strategies to combat trafficking of girls and women from the northeast at a
two-day seminar here.
"There is a need to involve other NGOs and law
enforcement agencies, besides support from the common masses, to stop this
extremely dangerous trend of women trafficking from the region," Ella
Sangma, a victim from Assam who was rescued, said at the seminar. Police in the
region admit that trafficking of women is a serious issue. "This is a big
problem, but then we face difficulties in busting such rackets due to lack of
information of the girls or the people involved in such operations," said
Assam Inspector General of Police (Crime) G. Bhuyan. There are no estimates as
to how many women are trafficked.
"The number must be in hundreds although more than the
numbers the main issue is how to create awareness and stop such things,"