Thursday, January 31, 2008

Girls Smuggling Racket

She is around 11 or 12 years of age. She studies in class V. Her name is Beuti. She is going to be married on 11th Feb to a cook on the day of Saraswati Puja. Stunned? This is true. And this is going to happen not far from Kolkata.

The girl is from Jougram, a small village, around 65 KM from Kolkata on the Howrah-Barddhaman Eastern Railway (chord) section. She studies in a girls' school in a nearby school at Jhapandanga. Her mother works as a domestic help and father makes and sells bamboo baskets. The person she is going to be married is around 20 years of age and cooks for the home guards. She had an elder sister who also got married while studying in class V. Her parents are getting money from the groom. Now is it difficult to guess what actually is going to happen in the name of the marriage? She will be sold to some one in Bihar and made to perform vulgar dances in front of goons and anti-socials. She will be molested, abused. She may be sold to some clients outside India and made to work as maid servants there. She is surely going to live a life in hell. She has been forced to quit her study. She already stopped coming to school. She has been threatened that if she declined to marry, she would be thrown out of the house.

This is only one case I came to know. But every year many girls in there teens are forced to part with there study and are married off for money. Many girls just disappear. I came to know that there is a huge racket going on in that area. Some panchayat leaders are probably involved in it. They take advantage of the poverty of the rural people, who are desperate to get rid of there daughters at any cost. Though it is illegal to marry off a girl before she is 18, the marriage happens in the presence of the local police, so that no one intervenes. Needless to say that everybody gets there share. The poor people argue that it becomes difficult to find a groom for there daughter once she becomes marriageable. Also they do not have sufficient means to support her. Generally these families have more than two children. There are barely educated.

In this situation I urge everybody reading this article to come forward and form a group and stand in the way of the culprits. Lets us draw the attention of the administrative authorities, namely the state government and the police, to this grim situation of the poor girls.

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