The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. The GSI 2018 reports an emerging trend in northeast India where organised trafficking syndicates operate along the open and unmanned international borders, duping or coercing young girls seeking employment outside their local area in to forced sexual exploitation. Many women and girls are lured with the promise of a good job but then forced in to sex work, with a 'conditioning' period involving violence, threats, debt bondage and rape.
Radha was 12 years old when she was forced to marry. Unhappy in her forced marriage she ran away to her aunt’s house. One day a man told Radha he would take her back to her husband, however instead he sold her to a brothel.
Because … like Radha, I will wait forever for my beloved to find me.
I am 18. When I was 12, I was married off to a man who was lazy and refused to work. I couldn’t stand the situation, so I went to live with my aunt. I waited every day for my parents to come and take me home. I was so sad, and I thought of returning to my husband. My aunt’s neighbour was a kind man, and listened to my problems. He said he’d take me to my husband, but he sold me to a brothel. I can’t talk about that life. I’m just waiting my parents to find me and take me home.
Narrative ‘Radha, the Beloved of Krishna’ featured in the project ‘Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power’