6 Bangladeshi girls repatriated

Victims of trafficking; spent years at a Chennai shelter home

June 20, 2019 11:06 pm | Updated June 21, 2019 10:08 am IST - GUWAHATI

Six victims of human trafficking who spent up to five years in a Chennai shelter home have gone back home in Bangladesh.

The Meghalaya-based Impulse NGO Network helped repatriate the six girls under a government-to-government partnership model it had designed a few years ago.

“A team from Madras Christian Council of Social Service, which runs a home under the Ministry of Women and Child Development’s Swadhar Greh scheme, was among the multiple agencies involved in repatriating the six girls on July 16,” Hasina Kharbhih, Impulse’s chairperson, told The Hindu .

The girls were repatriated from Phulbari on the international border near Siliguri in West Bengal under the standard operating procedure between India and Bangladesh.

Members of their families received them along with activists of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), an NGO associated with Impulse.

Coordinated effort

“This was an exercise where the Home and External Affairs Ministries and the border force of both countries were involved, besides a number of NGOs working to end human trafficking,” Ms. Kharbhih said.

Two such organisations – Ebong Aamra and Nari Shakti – function in northern West Bengal.

Ms. Kharbhih said she came to know about the six trafficked Bangladeshi survivors in 2018 after Impulse's programme manager Emarine Kharbhih met members of the Madras Christian Council of Social Service at a conference in Hyderabad.

The six, she learnt, were at the Council’s home in Chennai for periods ranging from one to five years.

Impulse coordinated with BRAC for ensuring that the victims could be integrated back with their communities in Bangladesh.

BRAC has also designed a counselling, rehabilitation and reintegration programme for them in Bangladesh.

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