Tamil Nadu

Trafficked years ago, Bangladeshi girl to return home soon

Illustration for representation.

Illustration for representation.   | Photo Credit: Sreejith R. Kumar

Forced into prostitution, she had tested positive for HIV

It has all the ingredients of a movie — a minor girl forced into prostitution escapes, takes a train and falls in love with a co-passenger who marries her, and following estrangement is forced into prostitution again, before being rescued. The girl, who contracted HIV, is set to go home in a few days.

This is the story of Ayesha (name changed) of Jessore in Bangladesh, the youngest in a family of five siblings. The school dropout lost her father at an early age, just into her teens, and couldn’t support her mother much. An elderly woman in the locality promised her a job in Kolkata and arranged an arduous boat journey across the border to the West Bengal coast. A couple received the minor and took her to Gujarat where she was forced into the flesh trade.

“Ayesha, now 21 years old, doesn’t remember the year she landed in India, but says it has been about ten years since she left home. The girl was moved from one brothel to another. The pimp couple promised to send her back home, and the victim lived on with hope,” says Isabel Richardson of the Madras Christian Council of Social Service (MCCSS).

One day, she escaped and reached the nearest railway station and boarded a Mumbai-bound train, where she met a stranger. He took pity on her, took her home and married her. However, the couple got estranged following differences. “Ayesha got an Aadhaar card in which the name of the spouse was entered as Rajiv Ghosh. However, the good times lasted hardly six months. She left home only to walk into another trap. A neighbour, who promised to arrange travel to Bangladesh, took her to Coimbatore in 2016, and sold her to a brothel there,” says Ms. Isabel.

Rescued by authorities

The very next day, Ayesha was rescued by local authorities [during a raid at the brothel] and sent to a home for women in Coimbatore. She was later shifted to the Indian Community Welfare Organisation, Chennai, and then to a shelter home.

“During a routine health check, Ayesha tested positive for HIV. She was given a job at the home for a couple of years, while we tried to locate her family in Bangladesh. We have now made arrangements for her repatriation. The victim has been issued a travel permit by the Bangladesh High Commission and an exit permit by Indian immigration authorities. We will hand over Ayesha to ‘Light House’ NGO in Dhaka, who will take her home next week,” the MCCSS convener says.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 1:01:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/trafficked-years-ago-bangladeshi-girl-to-return-home-soon/article28714458.ece

Next Story