Karnataka now has the dubious distinction of being one of the top states in India, for human trafficking according to data collected by the Anti-Human Trafficking units of states. More women, above and below 18 years of age, have been trafficked than men and children of the same age.
There are various types of crimes that instill fear in the minds of common people and make them angry. Molestation, rape, kidnapping of children are few among the crimes. The result is often violence, in its worst form.
Kalaburgi-based women’s rights activist said that globalization and liberalization had totally ignored women, dalits and working classes.
Chances are high for those children who run away from home for one or the other reason and to end up in the wrong hands. Brokers frequent the areas around the railway station and bus stand to trap such children away from the family.
Bengaluru, being the third largest city of India in terms of economy has become an easy hub for traffickers to operate. The need for cheap labor is as high as ever with costs increasing rampantly. It becomes convenient for these human traffickers to engage children from poor, deprived families, willing to work at lower wages in the places with a need for a cheap workforce. Employing a child also implies unquestioned obedience and zero resistance.
The brokers are approached by hotel owners, who want to employ children. This arrangement, which involves commissions for the brokers, happens in broad daylight near the Majestic railway station. While some children are taken to factories, sweets makers, eateries/hotels, automobile workshops and construction sites, others end up with marriage caterers and are employed to cut vegetables and wash plates. Some are used for begging and pick-pocketing. The runaway children come from almost all the states in the country, mostly from Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal. Many are brought from other states in the name of education to get them enrolled in religious institutions or under the name of some orphanages.
An unending list of cases of child labor where children were subjected to extreme conditions of unexplainable hostility and physical and mental abuse. Many of these children were sold at an age as early as three and do not seem to even remember where their origins lie. This is the story of millions of Indian children employed as slaves in industries, brothels, factories, or as domestic laborers. Some of these children are even deployed in hazardous industries leading to severe consequences for their mental and physical growth.
Many of these children have horrible stories to share. Most of them are malnourished and in poor health. Those who have been rescued recently still live in the terror of an unknown fear. Many of these children have infected wounds on their body. The wounds will heal someday. But the scars will remain. Forever.