Babylifting

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.

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