Woman came to India on a tourist visa in April 2019 hoping to find work. Instead, the middlemen who brought her from Uzbekistan snatched her passport and belongings and confined her to a room in a south Delhi flat. Without a passport, the 26-year-old had no option but to give in to the middlemen’s demand that she caters to the sexual needs of men who visited the flat. She tried to flee, but that needed money and support. It is not the story of one woman in particular.
There are many girls those are forced to consume drugs and do a sex worker’s job. Gradually some girls developed an addiction to drugs. They do not give these girls money or salary; they are provided with basic needs and drugs. To make matters worse, none of them knew the local language. Recently, seven such girls fled from confinement and reached the Uzbekistan Embassy in Chanakyapuri. Having no valid document of identity, they could not enter the embassy premises.
Luckily for the women, they were rescued by NGO Empowering Humanity, following which Delhi Police registered a case of kidnapping, trafficking, criminal conspiracy, extortion plus other charges at Chanakyapuri police station on Monday. They have arrested five persons as the cops try to unravel the international racket.
Barring one, all the victims have children back home. Most said they were married young, had kids and their husbands had deserted them. They brought one of them to India at the age of 17 in October 2019. One is 30 years old and has a kid who has a hole in the heart; another is 22 years old and came to the city in January this year. Most of them visited India on tourist visas for job but middlemen trap them in sex racket. Most of these girls find it very difficult to protect themselves.
Empowering Humanity helped the rescued women file a police case. The FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, states that the women were trafficked to India. “We were given tourist visas in Nepal and some of us came to India on medical visas at different times. The passports of those of us who came to Nepal on tourist visas were snatched from us and we were brought to New Delhi to work as prostitutes. For those of us who came to India directly on medical or other visas, our Sex, lies, drugs: How seven foreigners went through hell before escaping trafficking net In July, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of Delhi Police arrested around a dozen people, including women and foreign nationals, for in illegally bringing in Uzbek women to India.
Delhi Police also rescued 11 women, who are currently in detention centres since they do not possess travel documents. These women were offered employment in India, but on arrival were pushed into the flesh trade. Middlemen did not bring peace to the women because they were often booked under the Foreigners Act for not holding valid travel documents. The victims themselves become the accused because they can’t produce identity and travel documents, which are taken from them by their smugglers.
India is not safe for Indian women. How can one guarantee total safety for female tourists? The tourists get mobbed, robbed in the broad daylight, dragged on the road by their handbags or necklaces. And in some places, going to the police station might make things worse. India is a very large, diverse country. All places cannot have the same generalized description. But in places like Delhi and other metro cities such brutal incidents happen.
India’s massive 1.38 billion population, an ancient culture, and rapidly changing attitudes combine to create one of the world’s most fascinating destinations. India could well be one of the most rapidly-changing cultures on Earth – and these changes are leading to tensions in society and confusion for visitors. The capital Delhi is the most notorious city for crime in the country. These foreign female tourists were often followed several times by creepy guys, and groped. India presents some greater risks – especially regarding staring, unwanted attention, and sexual harassment – than other countries. There is a significant gender disparity in India, and you come across some negative and outdated attitudes towards women – such as the film director who suggested women should carry condoms in case they are raped. It’s wise to be prepared, and be able to safeguard yourself, and take things in stride.
For foreign female travellers in India can sometimes be overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, and tiring. It sometimes seems as if nothing is easy – even booking a train ticket. So, while in transit, women sometimes experience the brunt of unwanted attention and potentially risky situations. They need to take extra care with your bookings and with travel by train, plane, bus, and car. Traveling late at night, especially by train and bus, is really not safe for them. Delhi has become really the most unsafe place even for Indian women; it is high time the government needs to safeguard foreign female tourists from the middlemen and agents.