Sinlung /
17 February 2010

Trafficked Girls From Northeast End up in Kolkata Brothels

By Sanjoy Ray

Kolkata, Feb 17 : Has the capital city of West Bengal become the capital destination of girls trafficked from various parts of the Northeast, especially Assam’s NGOs believe so and so do the law enforcing agencies.

Such is the inflow of Northeast girls into the red light areas and brothels that agencies working in the field do not hesitate to claim that ‘one out of every ten girls hails from Assam and other parts of the Northeast.’

It is also believed that it is from Kolkota that girls from the Northeast are trafficked to various parts of the globe, especially to places like Bangkok.

Activists of Sanlaap, a Kolkota-based NGO had informed that for those running the sex trade, girls from the Northeast come as easy prey.

“There is a huge demand for girls from the Northeast and other parts of South East Asia in sex markets not only in Kolkota but in every nook and corner of the country, and even college and working ladies have somehow been pushed into it, which is really alarming. Kolkata being the closest metro city from the Northeast, it certainly is the desired destination,” said a human trafficking activist based in Kolkata.

“Cost effectiveness is one angle that makes Northeast girls big favorites for those running the sex racket, besides their looks, be it in red light areas like Sonagachi, or any sex trade racket operating in Kolkata and other parts of the country,” said the activist, who did not want to be named, adding that girls mostly from poor financial background are being pushed in the name of employment.

“The grey side of the entire nexus is that these girls, especially the under-aged ones, are imparted know how of medicinal drugs like those for breast enhancement to suit customer demands, which is where we are trying to focus on,” the activist said.

“Earlier, our prime concern was the well-being of those in the brothels in terms of hygiene and safety, but the abuse of medicinal drugs has now added to our list of priorities,” he said.

“One of the reasons why I do not want to be named at this moment is that we are conducting an assessment of the entire scenario and will take steps accordingly. As there have been confirmed reports about flooding in of girls from the Northeast to these sex trade centers, a detailed study is also expected,” he pointed out.

A senior police official of the anti-trafficking wing of Kolkata Police, when contacted, confirmed the trend as being alarming, though he refused to divulge any details about the same.

“Whenever necessary, we establish contacts with our counterparts in other parts of the country, and the Northeast is no exception,” he added.


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