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2015 (Narrative date)

Experts estimate millions of women and children are victims of sex trafficking in India. Traffickers use false promises of employment or arrange sham marriages in India or Gulf States and subject women and girls to sex trafficking. In addition to traditional red light districts, women and children increasingly endure sex trafficking in small hotels, vehicles, huts, and private residences. Traffickers increasingly use websites, mobile applications, and online money transfers to facilitate commercial sex. Children continue to be subjected to sex trafficking in religious pilgrimage centers and by foreign travelers in tourist destinations. Many women and girls, predominately from Nepal and Bangladesh, and from Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and Asia, including minority populations from Burma, are subjected to sex trafficking in India.  

Aarya obtained a job in domestic work after her father's alcohol consumption meant there was a shortage of food for the family. Aarya was subjected to sexual exploitation by her employer and eventually moved to a flat where she was forced to perform sexual services for clients. Unable to tell her parents under fear of losing much needed income for the family Aarya remained silent about her exploitation.

I am doing this business since 6 years. My father used to drink a lot, was drunk all the time, and used to beat me and my mother and brother. My mother used to work at other houses and the money she earned he spent it all in his drinks. If he were denied the money, he would beat us all. Because of the family being big there was always a shortage of food in the house. I also started going for work at some places. I met Punit. He told me to come along to get him some work. So I went with him. He forced me into things and finally left me to a contractor for work. The contractor lived with his wife and kids. I started working there. 

One-day the contractor’s wife went with her children for a wedding. Getting an opportunity and seeing me alone he forced me into things. He even called his friends and all of them drank and forced themselves on me. When I said I would complain in my locality he said he would throw acid on me if I do that. He also threatened to kill my brothers. He also said he would not pay me for any work and would take me out from my house and would not give me any work. [She started crying saying this]. I was scared and I had to accept his whims and fancies and agree to all his demands.  

When my landlady returned he told me to go away and said I am not needed there now. He told me stay anywhere else now, rented a flat for me and made me stay there and do business. When I objected he threatened me and even beat me. I could not tell this at home also. My father was drunkard and I did not want to bother my mother for this. She was anyways worried about my father’s poverty. I kept suffering the tyranny by him all the time. One day my father asked me for money and when I refused, he beat my mother and me. He drank heavily that day, returned home that night, and tore my clothes. He even raped me then. 

When this happened with me and I saw my mother seeing me desperately not able to do anything I was devastated. After this, I contemplated suicide because I could not withstand things anymore. Then I saw my mother alone and brothers and felt pity on them. I thought what else is remaining with me as all my respect is gone so I finally moved into this business without any expectations. I made my brothers study so that their lives are not made hell like mine. I want them to become good human beings and lead a good comfortable life. 


Life Story 4 as told to the Institute of Development Studies for their report 'Patterns and Dynamics of Slavery and Bonded Labour in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh: Findings from Life Story Analysis'