Trafficking : Many rescued yet dozens of minor traceless since 2010
- Part 3 -

James Khangenbam *

Human Trafficking :  Many rescued yet dozens of minor traceless since 2010
Female Trafficking :: An illustration by Bunti Phurailatpam

Human Trafficking within the State has a different story. It could be anything from luring somebody in the world oldest profession to selling helpless orphans by their relatives as domestic helpers.

Besides, there are instances of young girls who are being lured by their friends who are already addicted to drugs. At the early stage of addiction, these girls can afford the costly doses. But when they become dependent on drugs, they would do anything for their daily fix. This is the time they are introduced into the world of a sex worker by the potential pimps. Heroin no. 4 usually serves as bait for them.

In yet another form of trafficking, which is very common in the State, the women vendor who come from far off village falls prey to veteran sex workers who lure them into sex work. In the real life theatre they act as a saviour persuading the hard earners to ease their toil and earn like never before. The disguised God becomes a demon at the end when they face discrimination and fall victim out of ignorance.

In one of the study by a researcher, the first school of the trafficked women are staged inside the cinema halls in Paona Bazar where the veteran pimps would make the newcomers watch movie with their clients. The darkness inside the cinema hall makes way for the client's hand in surfing the prey's curves. She is being trained to accept the invasion and at the end of the day the pimps would fulfil their promise of easy earning.

While making a documentary on sex workers in Manipur, I came across a married woman who was lured into the profession. She was married to an alcoholic and to support her family she took up small time business like selling clothes, etc. It was when she reaches Khwairamband Bazar as vegetable vendor she came across a disguised dream maker who drag her life to the misery land. Her husband got suspicious and disowned her in the long run.

The locality where she lived has disowned her. She was divorced and is staying in a rented house, away from her maternal home with none to support her. She leads a discriminated life and takes alcohol as stress burner. She only gets company with fellow workers. And there are many ladies like her.

Women Selling Vegetable : Trafficking :  Many rescued yet dozens of minor traceless since 2010
Women Selling Vegetable :: An illustration by Bunti Phurailatpam

Trafficking seems to be a very profitable business where one can start with zero investment and earn profit easily. The traffickers who are veteran sex workers and who have lost all her clients and who do not have the ability to attract clients anymore have to make their living and trafficking is the only means for them to earn a living. They earn money from the share that their 'lady' earns. They serve as caretaker to the new members they invited and they survive. They act as the generation makers to the oldest profession.

The result is that there are many displaced women and the number keeps on increasing. In certain other cases, they even lure young girls into the profession. Paona Bazar and North AOC is where you would even find child sex worker. Stories of minors brought to these places where migrant population is high remains valid as there were instances of minor girls who try to escape from the traffickers.

When children pushed their way to the nearby road they would cry for money or simply ask for ten rupees because they do not have money to travel back to their safety. In most of the captive trafficking cases, the traffickers parade them under their watchful eyes and guard them so that they do not run away. The kind of traffickers in these cases are organised and they move on from one place to another for the trade, taking the children along with them.

It is very hard to rehabilitate such children if they are under captivity for a longer period. And in their search for liberty, they have consented on taking up the profession in some cases.

In places like Kolkata innovative rehabilitation process like providing education to sex workers are practiced. The enlightenment enhances self-empowerment and self-respect which was barren in them. The level of self-discrimination, if brought down through good rehabilitation work out helping the victim in social integration.

At times self-help groups and skill impartment projects which is practiced in the State by concerned NGOs proves fruitful. Many transformed individuals are taking up good causes making their own living. However large campaigns targetted on those traffickers who lures unwilling people to sex work by elderly women who were into the profession at one time is missing till today. Many have fallen victim and many are being persuaded at this point of time.

Coming to education - there has been a report on the rescue of 23 children from Kerala on 15th August 2012. Of them 22 children belong to Ukhrul District and one held from Imphal East. And it is also learnt that 5 individuals from Ukhrul district are responsible for the mess. The children were trafficked two years back on the pretext of providing proper education in a Home which turns out to be fraud.

The vulnerability of children from the hands of the traffickers is fuelled by ignorant parents in this case and the involvement of local support in transporting the children to wrong hands. Home for business seem a big business even after the Supreme Court order on banning children migration from North East below 14 years.

The Kerala Police on May 12, 2011, rescued the 10 girls from Thammanam, Ernakullam and the 13 boys from 'Precious Home'. They were brought back to 'Pratiksha Home' and 'Don Bosco Sneha Bhawan' by Children Welfare Committee, Kerala and the children between 10 - 13 years of age stayed there for 11 months. 'Precious Home' the place where the children stayed was not registered with Juvenile Justice Board.

Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai and Chingai AC MLA Preshow Shimray had committed on proper rehabilitation of the children.

The involvement of Stakeholders in the Trafficking menace of the State is a welcomed effort. In order to reach out to the ignorant parents and semi-educated local traffickers who believe in magic needs to be dealt with steel hands for a zero trafficking Zone.

To be continued.....
(extracts of newspapers can be had from the writer)

* James Khangenbam is a frequent contributor to
The writer is Imphal Correspondent of Kakching based IMAGE TV and can be contacted at jameslaphoi(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on October 07, 2012

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