Assembly elections 2018: Human trafficking victims feel left out

Human trafficking victims narrate their ordeal at an event organised by Sankalp Foundation

deexa

Deexa Khanduri | November 21, 2018 | Delhi


#migrants   #human trafficking   #Sankalp Foundation   #Assembly elections 2018   #election  


“We are nobody’s concern. We are not part of any election manifesto, or any state government,” says 28-year-old Farah from Mahasamund district, Chhattisgarh. Five years ago, Farah was rescued by an anti-human trafficking NGO in Maharashtra.  She used to work in a bangle-making industry. 

Like most migrants in her state, Farah lives in the eastern part of Chhattisgarh, but has migrated to Raipur district in search of work. Despite migrating within the same state Farah was not able to vote in the recent assembly elections. The polling booth assigned to her was near her home in Mahasamund district. But she was not able to cast her vote as it was difficult for her to travel all the way from Raipur district to Mahasamund district. 

This is the story of most of the human trafficking survivors and migrants from the poll-bound state of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram. They are angry as human trafficking is not a concern for many political parties and issues around it do not even feature in any party’s election manifesto.
 
Recently, survivors of human trafficking narrated their ordeals at an event organised by the Sankalp Foundation. The event was organised to discuss if human trafficking is an issue and agenda for governance for poll-bound states. 
 
Manju Gardia, founder, Jan Jagriti Kendra – a Chhattisgarh-based NGO working with human trafficking victims – says that nearly one lakh people leave their native district in Chhattisgarh to work as migrant and bonded labourers in another districts. She further says that around 47 percent of the state population is living below the poverty line, but the state government, as well as opposition parties, fails to talk about these people in election manifestos.
 
After analysing the election manifestos of the BJP and Congress and what these parties offer for human trafficking survivors in Chhattisgarh, Atindriyo Chakrabarty, an advocate, says, “Tackling crimes against women, including sexual offences, have featured in manifestos of all major political parties. The ruling party BJP promises latest technological utilities in all police stations to aid investigation, while the opposition party Congress promises of active enforcement of law for enhancing women’s security, steps to tackle crimes against women, stringent action against the offenders, and setting up of Mahila Thana”.
 
“Labour trafficking is surging in Chhattisgarh, but sadly it’s not a priority of governance in the state,” adds Gardia.
 
Telangana has the fourth highest number of cases registered for human trafficking. But its ruling party, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) continues with its old manifestos, which were made in 2013, says social worker Sumitra from Ankuram NGO. “TRS manifesto focuses on waiving off the farmer’s loan, unemployment, the increment of pension for BPL widows and single women, giving money to the parents whose daughters are to get married and women & child welfare, including on SHG-s. Congress’s manifesto features widow pensions. TDP has also promised a manifesto in which a common minimum programme has been envisaged. The BJP, in its manifesto, has identified alcoholism as the key factor behind atrocities against women and has promised to regulate and restrict the sale of liquor in the state,” says Sumitra.
 
The Telangana government has no women cabinet minister; ironically their manifesto reads “all opportunities…for women development, empowerment…”
 
JR Sharan of Sankalp Foundation, says, “Efforts to combat human trafficking have been conventionally led by the departments of women and child development, social welfare and the police, supported by a few NGOs who run shelters and focus on rescue and rehabilitation services. But increasingly, the question that arises is that if all poor and underprivileged families are vulnerable to trafficking, especially women and children, does it get recognised as a people’s issue or a mainstream governance issue?”
 
“It is time that political parties should rise above their populist agendas and make issues like human trafficking as their political agendas,” he adds.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Talking to Trump, Modi hits out at Imran’s anti-India rhetoric

Prime minister Narendra Modi has told US president Donald Trump that Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s “incitement to anti-India violence” was not good for peace in south Asia. Modi and Trump had a telephonic conversation – their first since the Aug 5 move to chang

Paediatricians call for junking unhealthy food

As children are consuming more and more fast foods and sweetened beverages are becoming, leading to obesity and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has come out with guidelines on such substances. The dietary guidelines under its nutrition chapter

Modi’s forward-looking I-Day speech lays down 5-year agenda

Contrast prime minister Narendra Modi’s first Independence Day speech in 2014 with his latest, the first in the second term, and you know the difference. His first speech was less about future and much about the basic needs like Swachch Bharat (clean India). His speech on Thursday, on the other hand,

Better cities require active citizen engagement

With Mumbai city battling myriad civic issues and annual flooding year after year, stakeholders and experts came together to discuss ways of dealing with these issues as community work. The discussion was held at the TEDxVersova Salon- Vibrant Civic Participation, an independent TED event organized by the

Independence Day: PM underlines new beginnings

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the first in his second term, prime minister Narendra Modi highlighted the new beginnings his government has made in recent days, and underlined the hopes of a new India in the making. “Things that could not happen in the past

Kashmir decision “sole prerogative of the country”

India has told China that the legislation changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir was “an internal matter. External affairs minister S Jaishankar, visiting China Monday, told foreign minister Wang Yi that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-ec



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter