Women Trafficking - The Reality India Lives With
India lives with the dubious distinction of having one of the largest numbers of women trafficked. Directly correlated to the levels of poverty existing in the country, women are trafficked into prostitution or bonded labour through abduction or false promises of jobs. This social evil violates the basic human rights of women and exploits them. The crime has wider dimensions with criminal syndicates and corrupt politicians and law enforcers being complicit. In this cycle of exploitation, girls and women are trafficked to various parts of the country and even abroad. If statistics are to be believed then around 2 million women and children are trafficked into the red-light areas dotting every major city in the country. Traffickers recruit women and children using coercion, lies, manipulation, and threats. Of all states, the highest number of cases have been reported from West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. In West Bengal, Murshidabad district is counted as the nerve centre of trafficking and bonded labour. This is due to the district’s proximity with Bangladesh wherein it acts as a transit point for girls and women. Also, since West Bengal shares around 2,217 kilometers of its porous border with Bangladesh, it has become a haven for such types of criminal activities. # Factors responsible for women trafficking: Poverty, deprivation, and lack of education and employment are the primary factors that force women and girls into trafficking. For example, Murshidabad district in West Bengal with a population of 7.1 million and an average literacy rate of 67.53% has abysmal levels of poverty. Such social-economic fault lines are exploited by the traffickers who lure vulnerable women and girls with promises of a better life. # Strategy to counter the social evil: Women and girls trafficking can only be countered with strong administrative measures. These include better policing of the vulnerable segments of the population, identifying the offenders (read traffickers) and punishing them through the judicial process, rehabilitating the victims and giving them dignity, educating the vulnerable population and making them employable. If the women and girls are educated and provided with better livelihood, they will not fall prey to the cons and deceit used by traffickers. # How Anudip empowers rescued women: Continuing with the above-mentioned measures, especially related to their education and empowerment, Anudip, the non-profit organization, helps with its BEST programme. It has been noticed that the victims of trafficking are not fully integrated into the society as the latter shuns them due to the stigma associated with trafficking. Anudip ensures the rescued victims are rehabilitated through its BEST (Building Entrepreneurs To Stop Trafficking) initiative. According to this programme, the victims are counselled, mentored, and trained in digital skills at the various skill development centres run by Anudip. The BEST programme provides three-months IT training to the girls/women and readies them up for jobs. The trained students, on their part, get a secure and dignified life by becoming a part of the gig economy. Conclusion The crime of trafficking has assumed menacing proportions and the victims are often left to fend for themselves. To help fight this menace and rehabilitate the victims, Anudip, through its BEST programme, trains them in skill development. Thereafter, the successful candidates are given digital livelihoods, so that they can live with dignity and come out of the cesspool of trafficking. To know more about Anudip’s BEST programme, visit https://www.anudip.org/best/.