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Survivors recount their ordeal

Staff Reporter

40 sex trafficking victims prepare charter on the course to be adopted in rescue

Photo: G. Ramakrishna

GUTSY:Delegates at the National Survivors Conference organised by anti-trafficking organisation Prajwala in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD: In a world where women's narratives as victims get little attention, it is a paradox that their stories of success too go unheard. Sunitha Jadhav has both to tell, and in a compelling way.

Six years ago, she was rescued from a brothel in Mumbai by a voluntary organisation. Hailing from Bangalore, she had arrived in Mumbai upon the promise of a job, but was sold to a brothel in Ghatkopar.

She was subjected to horrendous atrocities by the brothel operators who abused her, beat her, and starved her on regular basis.

Her redemption came in a police raid which had landed her in the care of the NGO Rescue Foundation. She had then agreed to go home but on the condition that her parents should not be told about what she had gone through.

Now, she fears none and tells her story head held high. For, she has since participated in dozens of rescue operations, liberating hundreds of her ilk.

She now runs a taxi in the city where she was once sold away.

“Usually, girls at the brothels are told that they would be killed if caught, and hence refuse to go with the police. Policemen, often impatient, drag the incompliant by their hair and dump in the van. They are not sympathetic to victims,” says Sunitha, attending the two-day National Survivors Conference (Survivors of Sex Trafficking) by Prajwala that concluded here on Wednesday.

Over 40 survivors of sex trafficking participated in the conference and prepared a charter on the course to be adopted in rescue, rehabilitation and compensation to trafficking victims. Many of them are now fully rehabilitated, and leading independent lives.

“I was sold to the broker by my best friend, but was rescued within 10 days. Educated only up to Class III then, I later finished my schooling, did a nursing course, and found myself a job,” Nisha Pardesi (name changed) from Ahmednagar told.

Pinky's was a pathetic tale. She lost both her parents and stayed at her uncle's in Siliguri from where she was kidnapped as a minor girl by a few persons who sold her to a brothel in Gaya. After enduring untold violence for years, she was rescued by an NGO Jan Jagran Sanstha which got her married to a willing person from Jehanabad.

Survivors were from various places across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Assam. Their demands included shift in the attitude of police and judiciary towards victims, and adequate protection from the intimidators, media, and society in general.

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