Outlook Magazine did a commendable job by bringing to light a case of girl children being trafficked out of the state of Assam. Though child trafficking has been going on here for long, the recent incident is more serious given that the act is allegedly done by an organization which belongs to the same ideological platform as the primary ruling party in Assam, the BJP. It may be construed as a design by the saffron party to spread their agenda utilizing rural poverty as a tool to exploit masses.
Kailash Satyarthi’s Views
Kailash Satyarthi, the noble laureate working in the field clearly stated that Assam has been a source area, transit route and a destination for child trafficking. The reasons are obvious -poverty , poor law enforcement, lack of education and awareness. Taking advantage of the situation in Assam , “ agencies” operating in metros are engaged in the business of child trafficking.
The Root Cause
My only disagreement with the Outlook Magazine is that it has not talked about the root cause, which is poverty. Also it has not highlighted that various other interest groups are also involved in trafficking of children and young adults.
Despite existing laws , the use of minor children as domestic help is too common. Even a debate on the subject is not seen as of now.
As per reports appearing in the media the terrorist killed in the recent Kokrajhar bazaar attack aspired to join Indian Security Forces. But he failed to do so and having “no option” of earning a livelihood he decided to join a terrorist group. It is unfortunate that in Assam’s ecosystem children and young people are too vulnerable and end up being trapped in the hands of evil forces.
Education and Awareness
In addition to child trafficking another issue of social concern for the state is the mass migration of young men to metros outside Assam seeking low paid unskilled jobs. Such migration is an example of wastage of human potential .
Here comes the role of our “ Education and Awareness”. The recent incident of trafficking reported by the Outlook magazine is from the politically volatile BTC areas of Assam. Political volatility can be considered as people’s awareness about themselves. Apart from militant groups there are various other vibrant activist organizations representing various ethnic identities. Moreover the major political party of the area is a partner in the ruling coalition. But despite all that child trafficking from the region is a tragic reality.
The society in Assam has to prove by its “ Education and Awareness” that it is also necessary to be industrious and collectively fight against the menaces of child trafficking, mass migration or joining of terrorist outfits by young men for earning livelihoods.