How evil can evil get? Evil is not human and definitely has no emotions except for more evil. These are some thoughts that flitted through my mind when I was mailed a report of increase in trafficking in flood affected areas in Bihar. I mean, is there no end to depravity? How can one do this really? It has to be evil within, which allows for actions of such nature.Here are some facts for you about the trafficking and the good work being done by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, A Child Rights NGO (BBA), :
1) There has been a spontaneous increase in human trafficking, in particular of the children from Saharsa, Supaul, Araria, Purnia, Madhepura, Katihar, Sitamarhi and other flood affected districts. It is not difficult to see the large number of traffickers luring away children from the flood prone villages, relief camps, bus stations, and railway stations in these districts- all in the name of providing relief from this flood.
2) Rescue operations since 26 August 2008:
More than 100 complaints were received and 22 children between the age group of 8-13 years have been physically rescued by BBA,activists from the clutches of traffickers from Saharsa and Katihar railway stations. These children told in their statements that the traffickers had given an advance amount to their parents and promised to take them to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities.
3) Legal action: 5 traffickers have been arrested and cases booked against them for trafficking of children. Legal action would be initiated against all perpetrators of trafficking.
4) Government actions: BBA has written letters to the Prime Minister bringing the situation to his light, and to railway authorities and the district magistrates of all affected districts to prevent trafficking. Upon BBA’s appeal, the District Magistrate of Saharsa, Mr. R.Laxman met with the railway authorities to step up vigilance in the railway stations and prevent trafficking.
5) Recorded messages relayed at Saharsa railway station: Recorded audio messages of the appeal are being relayed through an audio system in the Saharsa railway station. This has proven to be very effective and has had a huge impact in generating awareness. BBA plans to replicate this model in other places as well.
6) Awareness among flood victims: In Saharsa, Madhepura, Katihar, Darbhanga and Araria, BBA activists have reached all relief camps in the area. The activists and volunteers are generating awareness against trafficking through the word of mouth, posters, leaflets, radio messages etc.
7) Training of and coordination with local NGOs and religious workers is being done to sensitise the people on trafficking.
8) A 24 hour helpline is being initiated in Delhi where complaints about children being trafficked would be taken and immediate necessary action initiated.
9) Media action: Electronic and print media – news channels, dailies and magazines would be mobilised to sensitise and generate awareness among the people and the civil society as well. Advertisements would be aired, audio messages relayed and press releases issued. This would have an impact on the general public as well as the government bodies.
10) People’s Commission: A people’s commission on child trafficking of flood victims is being proposed by BBA with some of the most reputed and acknowledged individuals in Bihar.