Deccan Chronicle on trafficking

There can be nothing worse than a father selling his daughter for the sake a few extra bucks. We speak to some such survivors. AMY ROSE THOMAS DECCAN CHRONICLE My father is my worst enemy�������

It is hard tocomprehend what a young girl has been put through for her to utter these words. For a girl, her father is the ultimate hero who can do nothing wrong. So imagine her plight when the same father  pushes her into prostitution. Unfortunately such incidents do still  take place in our society. Last week at Ramapuram in Kadapa district, a man tried to auction his six-yearold daughter, in a desperate attempt to buy liquor. When the owner of a liquor shop denied Krishnaiah booze as he had already run up a hefty tab, the latter took his daughter to the nearby village and put her up for sale in an open auction.

The bid started at Rs 300 and a person named Mohd. Basha ultimately bought her for Rs 1,000. Once alerted, the police rushed to the spot and apprehended Krishnaiah while Basha abandoned the child and fled. But this is not an isolated case. Lakshmi, too faced a similar predicament, when her father tried to force her into the flesh trade. 

�����My father forcibly took my sisters and me to Guntur where he sold me for Rs 15,000. That was the day I realised that my father is my worst enemy,����� says Lakshmi, adding, �����His name is Balaram and he is responsible for breaking up my family. It is because of him that I cannot see my mother. My father was addicted to alcohol and would beat my mother. We were three sisters. My sisters Karuna and Ramya are much younger to me. My father used to be very suspicious of my mother and used to complain that she was over-friendly with other men. This was not true. All my sisters and I could do was cry while he beat our mother black and blue. Fed up with the ill treatment and constant abuse, my mother ran away to a relative�����s place.����� While Lakshmi was still reeling from this shock, her father took them
to Guntur against their will. �����Even in Guntur, he used to drink a lot.
One day he took me to a brothel and sold me to a person called Ramana. When I heard their conversation, I was shocked. That is when I understood why he had taken me there. However, I did not relent when they insisted that I should sleep with costumers. My father was called and they asked him to take me back home as I was too young and refused to do as they bid. Furious, my father took me home and kept me locked up. He also threatened to push me into the flesh trade.����� This continued for quite some time, till Lakshmi decided to make an escape. "Under the pretext of using the washroom, I went to my neighbour's house and informed them of my plight. I was rescued by an NGO and now stay in a home. My sisters also stay with me. They are also studying. I would never allow such things to happen to my sisters. I am very protective of them. My father is currently serving a sentence in prison. I don't miss him though I do think about my mother often.
After my sisters and I were shifted to the home, my mother came over to visit me. She wanted to take us to her place but was scared of my father. She does keep in touch and that in itself is a relief," says Lakshmi. Experts say that such incidents usually occur in homes where there is no woman to care of the kids. In another incident, Lalita's mother died when she was young and her father had remarried.

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