Minor girls forced into prostitution in Pune, India

Thousands of young girls in India are forced into prostitution every day. Some of them are as young as ten years. NDTV met one such victim, who was lucky enough to escape. She narrates her plight and that of many others like her still languishing in brothels.

”I was kidnapped from Hyderabad and sold here. I was physically assaulted and forced into prostitution. I was injected so I do not suffer from pain,” said the victim of prostitution.

Over the last 11 months, this girl, has been sold to about 11,000 customers. She is just 15. Kidnapped by an organised gang from her hometown Hyderabad, she was sold in Budhwar Peth, the red light district of Pune for Rs 35,000.

What followed was a nightmare.

There seemed no exit from the hell she was living in but then quite luckily a customer agreed to let her use his mobile phone and she immediately called her family.

Within days, the police had found her.

She was rescued but she says there are thousands of girls like her still trapped inside.

”There are girls even as young as 7-10 years old. As they grow up, they are pushed into this trade,” she added.

Off camera, she also tells us, many police raids are stage managed because most brothel owners are tipped off about the raid.

So the success of the rescue operations are limited.

”In the last one year, we have rescued some 330 girls. Whenever we get information, we conduct a raid and free the girls,” said V T Pawar, Senior Inspector, Faraskhana Police Station.

”It’s true that now more and more young girls are being forced into this profession, as it has been always, because of the demand,” said Tejaswini Sevekari, Director, Saheli.

What is lacking is very close monitoring of such brothels without which thousands of young girls slip through the cracks many of them never to be found.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080051942

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