Odisha girls ‘soft targets’ for human traffickers

Bhubaneswar: Due to the sharp fall in sex ratio in other states, girls from Odisha are now being trafficked to such places including Rajasthan, believe experts. Mostly the traffickers are targeting girls with poor financial background in Odisha and the tentacles of girl trafficking racket is spread from Uttar Pradesh to Haryana.

The recent rescue of two girls of Sundergarh and Sambalpur districts of Odisha from Rajasthan are glaring examples how the human trafficking racket is active in the State.

On February 5, the Delhi Commission for Women rescued a 16-year-old odia girl, who was missing since 2017, from Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. She was allegedly sold for Rs 4 lakh by her relatives. As the victim is pregnant, Sundergarh child welfare committee has written a letter to its counterpart in Delhi for the treatment of the minor girl.

On February 13, a Sambalpur girl was also rescued from Rajasthan. The family members alleged that some pimps allegedly sold the girl for money.

“My daughter was kidnapped and taken to Bhubaneswar and then to Rajasthan. They had sold my daughter,” the Sambalpur girl’s father said.

Be it Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh or other parts of the country, girls from Odisha are being trafficked in the name of marriage, said social activist Rutuparna Mohanty.

As per official data of the Centre, the sex ratio (female per 1000 male) at birth stood at 857 in Rajasthan between 2014 and 2016, 882 in Uttar Pradesh and 832 in Haryana.

Former Odisha DG Sanjeev Marik said “The girls from Odisha are bought for money by several persons in Rajasthan and other parts. The main objective is to engage them as free labourers and the girls are also subjected to sexual exploitation.”