The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.
Tamanna was trafficked in to prostitution by her sister’s husband.
We are four sisters and one brother. My father is a day labourer.
When I was at home, my parents often quarreled and we quarreled with our parents because food was short. My mother used to tell me to leave when we had these fights. I would reply that one day I would do so.
I came here because of my younger sister, Monzila. Two months ago, she left her husband's home after a fight and Yunus exploited the situation. He took her to Sonagachi. My father suspected this and alerted people. He called one journalist and informed the police. He told them: "I believe Yunus took my daughter to India and sold her there.” Pressure mounted on Yunus. He argued that he left Monzila at his sister's house in Kolkata and if my father wanted her back, he could bring her.
After a few days, Yunus brought Monzila back home. He trained her in such a way that she did not want to stay. Monzila told my parents that she was happy in Kolkata and that she wanted to go back. After 7 days, she returned with Yunus.
One month later, Yunus came to our home and said that Manzila was very ill and she wanted to see her sister Tamanna. My parents sent me straight away. When I reached here, I realized my sister was in a brothel. I saw that she was not sick at all. I asked her what she was doing here. She did not reply.
I asked Setara and Yunus to send me back to the village. They said, all right, you can go back, but alone. But how could I go? I did not have any money. My sister said she had none. Three days later, I was given my first customer. He paid 110 rupees. This was the first man in my life.
I have been here for one month. I don't go out much. The police raid the place. With the customers I have, I can hardly cover my cost.
My sister Monzila has gone outside to a district town. The dalal took her. She will come back after a few days. He gave the malkeen 400 rupees per day for her. If my sister earns more than this, it is the dalal and the hotel manager's profit. I am new here. My malkeen has not sent me outside yet.
My parents know I have gone to Kolkata. They had no objection because they believed what my sister told them. Everyone believed my sister. Her story sounded so good, how could they not believe her.
Narrative located in the report ‘Beyond Boundaries: A Critical Look at Women Labour Migration and the Trafficking Within’ by Thérèse Blanchet provided courtesy of The Child Protection Hub