She was married off at 12 for fear of getting trafficked and, later, narrowly escaped from getting ‘sold’ by her in-laws. Nothing could deter this indomitable woman’s fight against human trafficking. She has now won international recognition.
Monika Sarkar, 32, will now rub shoulders with leaders from various fields at the International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) in the US next year.
“I’m happy my efforts have now got international recognition. I am happier still to see the smiling faces of parents who have got back their trafficked daughters,” says Sarkar.
Sarkar, who grew up amid constant fear of trafficking, began her crusade almost a decade ago, joining some NGOs in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal.
The mother of two started her fight collecting data about missing girls from in and around her village, Sayestanagar. She discovered a startling fact – more than 5,000 minor girls had been missing in the past few years and yet there were no complaints registered by the police.
“Police would refuse to register missing complaints saying the girls have willingly gone out for work. It was difficult, but we continued our fight. As more women joined the fight, the police had to relent,” said Sarkar, whose efforts have now brought down trafficking cases.IANS
The lure of a job for their daughters is too tempting an offer for the poverty-stricken population here. Moreover, the traffickers are often too powerful and it is very difficult to fight them