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Five girls rescued from Mumbai

Dec. 11: Global Organisation for Life Development (GOLD), a city-based NGO, has rescued five victims of human trafficking from different brothels in Mumbai.

While two of the rescued girls are from the city, the remaining three are residents of Nagaon, North Lakhimpur and Goalpara. One of the victims has tested positive to HIV and one is a minor.

The girls, who were rescued in the past week, were tricked by pimps with false promise of marriage or a decent job away from home. Being from economically weak families, the girls fell for the bait.

“During the past week, we have rescued five girls from different brothels in Mumbai. Information from the mother of one of the girls helped us trace her. She had informed us that her daughter had willingly gone with a person who had offered to marry her. But after a few days her daughter contacted her and told her that she had been sold off to a brothel. The girl was traced with the help of the phone number using which she had called her mother. The remaining girls were rescued during regular raids based on information received through our networking with different NGOs and police,” said Kaveri Sarma, assistant general secretary of the GOLD.

“During medical investigation, one of the girls tested positive to HIV, but thankfully her health has not deteriorated and we have informed her and her family about her condition. The family has also been told about how and where she can avail of treatment. The other girls are medically fit. The minor among them was traumatised, but after she met her family she has calmed down,” said Sarma.

Two other victims have been handed over to their families and another two girls will be sheltered by the NGO. One girl had been sheltered by the NGO in the past at its shelter home in the city after she was caught selling hooch on the streets by the police. But after she left the home, she ended up in a brothel in Mumbai.

“Re-trafficking of a victim is very tragic. Flesh trade is growing at an alarming rate and unsuspecting girls, especially from poor families are being trafficked from the state to different parts of the country as well as neighbouring countries. Many times even after a victim is rescued, she is forced into flesh trade again by pimps on demand of her former clients. There are also some who do not want to be rehabilitated as this becomes the source of livelihood for them and their poor families. Hence, when we see that there is a chance of a victim of being re-trafficked, we shelter her in our home,” said Sarma.