04 September, 2008 / ASIANAGE / PAKUR, JHARKHAND: The flow has changed. Poor Indian girls are now being lured into Bangladesh for prostitution. Cellphones or even something as basic as a radio set are being used to lure these girls across the border.
Lured by a cellphone, this 16-year-old tribal girl Anna (name changed) from Pakur district in Jharkhand, is one such victim.
She was rescued from across the border area between India and Bangladesh. Recounting the incident, this girl from Moglaband village, said, "He (the middleman) told me that I can buy a cellphone and a wristwatch, just like he was wearing. All I had to do was to work in a big house."
The middleman from a nearby village even convinced her parents, telling them stories of prosperity gained by other girls.
"He took me in a truck near bada (wired fence). He told me that I should crouch in a corner of the truck, which was filled with stones (Pakur's famous black stone). At dusk, we both managed to reach near bada and kept waiting there by hiding in the overgrown bushes. Later in the night, we both crossed the bada without being noticed by the uniformed men (BSF personnel)," said the rescued girl.
She said the man asked her to sit quietly. This Santhali girl, whose parents were "too happy" to know that their daughter is going to "earn" money for the family, did not even bother to verify the credentials of the man who persuaded them that there is enough money outside the village.
But even before Anna could fulfil her parents dream of earning money, they were "arrested" by anti-trafficking network officials and taken back to the uniformed men (Border Security Force), who "took away the middleman".
"When we tried to explain her parents that their girl was being trafficked, they refused to listen to us. Fearing that the girl might be trafficked again, we admitted her in a centre, where she is living and studying with other rescued girls," said Sanjay Kumar of an anti-trafficking network working in the Pakur area.