Sitting in the corner of the back seat of a van, a 21-year-old petite woman, rescued by KI Nepal NGO's New Delhi representative Naveen Joshi, is on her way back to her home in Nepal. She is one of the two lucky girls who has been taken back to Nepal. Three minor boys who were trafficked for doing menial jobs, were rescued too along with them.
Trafficked to Delhi to be taken abroad, the 21-year-old told The Pioneer that she has been in Delhi for around a month now. "I have a son back home, he is disabled and I needed money for his surgery. That is how I got in touch with Saroj, who turned out to be a dalal (trafficker). My aunt knew Saroj and he promised to get me a good job in Saudi and for which I didn't had to pay anything." With tears in her eyes, she lamented that all her dreams have come to an end.
When asked if she knew she was being trafficked, she told The Pioneer that she has heard about it in the news but didn't expect it would happen to her. "My aunt knew him and gave me his contact. There were three of us; we stayed with Saroj's wife in Chirag Delhi. It was a flat and there were 6-7 Nepali girls already living there. Some of them were there for months. The three of us ran away when we realised what was happening and went to Gurugram to my aunt's house. We started working as domestic help but since I can't speak Hindi, I had to stop working."
The story is the same with most of the women, men and children who are being trafficked from Nepal. Poverty and the hope for a better future becomes the feeding ground for traffickers, says Naveen .
According to the UNICEF (2001), around 12,000 girls are trafficked to India every year. According to National Human Rights Commission report 2014, around 29,000 people were trafficked or attempted to be trafficked. KI Nepal NGO representative states that there is no proper data available on the total amount of people trafficked.
Delhi is a transit point for women, men and children from Nepal being trafficked within the city and the country as well as abroad, Naveen stated. "There are 26 border checkpoints between Nepal and India but there are many illegal ones. KI Nepal staffs are present in 10 gates and if they see anything suspicious they intervene."
"The girls are usually brought one by one, in pairs and rarely more than three at a time. This is done to fool the guards and NGO staffs at the border. They would tell them that they are going to a relative's house in India or for medical reasons. They are then brought to Delhi and kept in small rooms in a flat or hotel. The traffickers provide them with food, shelter, and WiFi as it is not traceable."
"The girls are then provided with transport fare and fake 'No Objection Certificate (NOC)' which is necessary if they want to travel from a second country to a third. The Nepal embassy in Delhi doesn't provide NOCs so they forge the travel documents and even the pay slip. The traffickers also take their passport. The risk involved is numerous," Naveen stated.
According to data received from the Delhi Police 5 Nepali citizens were rescued in Delhi from trafficking in 2016 and 7 were rescued in 2017. In the first three months of the year 3 Nepali citizens were rescued. In July 24, Delhi Commission for Women with the Delhi Police on receiving a tip-off from KI Nepal was able to rescue 16 Nepali women from Munirka.
Following the rescue, DCW were also successful in rescuing 18 girls with Varanasi Police on July 31. Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal also tweeted on August 1, "The DCW received tip off and rescued 39 Nepali girls from Hotel Hriday Inn, Paharganj. Raid lasted the entire night and assistance was provided by the Delhi Police. Entire hotel had only trafficked Nepali girls who were being sent to Gulf countries. Huge trafficking racket busted!"
According to the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior citizen Nepal's trafficking report (2017) out of the 311 rescued from trafficking, around 67 cases or 12 per cent were from prostitution. The highest percentage of cases 40 per cent or 125 citizens were rescued from forced labour. Cases of forced marriage were 6%or 21 cases. Cases of rescue of sold victims were also registered with 36 cases in 2016-2017. 19 cases were of victims fooled in the pretext of receiving a higher salary and the remaining 43 cases were unidentified.
KI Nepal New Delhi Representative Naveen Joshi adds that the rescuees are usually not aware that they were being trafficked. They get tricked into believing that they will get employment abroad, but in most cases it doesn't end well. He also adds that his NGO has launched awareness programs in Nepal but haven't been able to reach remote areas and believes that the government should be doing more.