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2007 (Narrative date)

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. 

Daksha* wanted to escape her family and was convinced her to go away with a girl she knew. However, this girl sold Daksha in to a brothel.

Because … I want to depict the girl in prostitution: an object of beauty and desire a statue with no voice.

I am 21, and I’ve been in this shelter since I was 14. I came from a good family and had a happy childhood. Then my father disappeared for 5 years. He suddenly returned, bringing another wife with him, and my mother ran away. I was miserable and wanted to escape. I met a girl who convinced me to go away, and she sold me to a brothel. Soon after I was rescued, I realized I was pregnant and HIV positive. Maybe I’m luckier than most. I have a fiancé who accepts me, and I have a healthy daughter. My only wish is for a cure for this virus so that can feel free.


*name given

Narrative ‘A Marble Statue’ featured in the project ‘Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power