Amongst the 3 million sex workers in India, around 40% are estimated to be children. Our team in Sitamarhi district of Bihar identified a brothel where minor girls were pushed into prostitution and shared the intel with Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).
On 11 July 2023, our team, in coordination with Sitamarhi district administration and police conducted a rescue operation in the Boha Tola area (a prominent red-light area in the district) and rescued 8 minor girls. Janaki (name changed) a native of Nalanda district in Bihar was one of them.
After the rescue, Janaki narrated her ordeal to our team. She informed our team that she wanted to study but her parents forced her to drop out of school after class 10. She ran away from her home to Patna in hopes of continuing her education but fell prey to a trafficker who sold her to a brothel in the red-light area of the Sitamarhi district.
What she and the other girls went through was nothing short of a nightmare. At least 20 men made sexual relations each day with every girl. If anyone would try to refuse, she was burnt with heated tongs. Even amongst these horrific times, Janaki did not lose hope for better days.
Our rescue operation came as a gateway to freedom for Janaki. Two customers and 10 employers/traffickers were also arrested. This created a deterrence in society against engaging minors in prostitution.