Sunday, October 22, 2017

Woman rescued from sex trafficking takes ‘flight’

21-year-old Mary was rescued from becoming a victim of sex trafficking by Mumbai police in November 2014. Mary, who is a successful cabin crew with a reputed airlines now, told FPJ, “Every Diwali, I light diyas and thank God for giving me a new lease of life and protecting me. I am grateful to the policemen who saved me. I think they were God sent.”

Mumbai : 21-year-old Mary is a successful cabin crew with a reputed airlines now but she hasn’t forgotten her fight against sex trafficking. Mary was rescued from the clutches of her perpetrators in November 2014 during Diwali.

After standard Xth, Mary’s family stopped her from going to school and even discontinued her tuition. This came as a huge blow to Mary, as it was only in education that she found her escape. After being deprived of her education, Mary felt there was nothing holding her back at home. Frustrated and depressed, Mary left home for Mumbai in October 2014 with nothing but some clothes and a little money. While, in Mumbai, she lived at a lodge in Mumbai Central and within ran out of money a month’s time. She continued to search for a job in Mumbai, but it was difficult.  A staff at the lodge noticed Mary’s vulnerability and offered to help her by introducing Mary to a man who could give her a job.

Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Mary said, “In November 2014, a man at the lodge asked me to meet him at Juhu beach. Over there, he introduced me to a middle-aged man. The man was a pimp who supplied girls for a high-end prostitution racket. Before I could guess his intention, he started pushing me towards the car. Fortunately, a police team patrolling the beach saw me and arrested the pimp.”

Mary hails from Jammu and Kashmir. She lived there with her grandmother, father and siblings. Mary attended school till the 10th grade but never got a mother’s love during her formative years. She was told that her mother had left when she and her siblings were very small. Mary did not receive the care and love of her grandmother and only found solace in her studies. While at home, Mary had to bear the snide remarks of her grandmother, as if she was not responsible for her mother going away. Her father was not much help. Instead of standing up for his daughter, he joined her grandmother and would often beat her when drunk.

Mary was sent to ‘Save Our Sisters Programme’, an anti-human trafficking initiative of ‘Save the Children India’, an organisation for survivors of human trafficking which has it’s registered office at Bandra Kurla Complex. Mary attended a Sahas Kendra programme for ten months, where she learnt life skills and attended counselling sessions to cope up with anxiety and anger issues.
22/10/17 Kainaz Choksey/Free Press Journal

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