Red tape forcing rescued sex workers back to red light areas

Savitri (name changed), a 17-year-old girl from a poor family, landed in a sex workers’ den in Chennai before the police there rescued her in 2015 and sent her to a transit centre here for rehabilitation, as she is a Telugu-speaking girl.

After rehabilitation, the girl was reunited with her widowed mother, who after a great economic struggle, married her off to a man hiding her past in East Godavari district. More trouble was waiting for the hapless girl when she pursued relief support of ₹20,000 provided by the State Government, and ₹1 lakh under the State Victims Compensation Fund, frequently shuttling between Rajamahendravaram and Ongole, without the knowledge of her husband.

Though the amount was sanctioned, she could not get it as she had given a different name to the police during the raid, and the same was recorded in the FIR. The money transfer process was stopped for her to submit an affidavit confirming her original name to restart the process all over again. After a struggle for over two and half years, she was paid ₹10,000, and not before she parted ways with her husband who came to know of her background.

Narrating the woes of the rescued minor girls subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, N.V.S. Rammohan laments that in a vast majority of the cases known to his organisation HELP, the immediate relief that was supposed to be paid to them in about a month or so, has been pending even after running from pillar to post for up to four years.

At least 50% to 60% of the rescued girls got re-trafficked owing to the delay in processing relief and indifference to the plight of the victims, he says in a conversation with The Hindu, ahead of the first of its kind State Legal Services Authority(SLSA) meeting with victims of commercial sexual exploitation to be chaired by Chief Justice Justice Ramesh Ranganathan at Chirala on Saturday.

Let's block ads! (Why?)