Strong suspicions about a group of children being trafficked
On 12th December 2018, our team noticed a group of children sitting on platform No.4 with a man who was accompanying them to some place. At first it seemed that the children belonged to different groups, but after observing them for some time, the team member came to understand that all the group was together and traveling for the same purpose. And the man chaperoning them was keeping an obvious distance while talking to the children. The man’s behaviour seemed suspicious and he seemed to be desperate to board the train. On closer observation, it was found that almost 10 children amongst the group, between the ages 13 -15 years were going to work at a catering service, and this man had lured them into work.
When a teacher turned traitor
Immediately our team member informed the Child Help Desk (CHD) and the center coordinator about the situation and shared the possibility of the man being a trafficker, indicating the need for the Railway Police. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) was immediately contacted. Forming a team, the children and the man, namely, Manjeet Ram was approached and the suspicion was confirmed, when it was discovered that he lured the child by giving them money and other things like mobile and watches.
During the interaction with the children, it was unpacked that the man trafficking the children was a tuition teacher and lived in the same village where all the children lived. He also confessed that, during teaching them, he had offered the children ‘a better life’ and he had told them not to tell anyone about this offer. When the police interacted with the trafficker on this matter, he revealed that he was taking the children to Sitamarhi for the first time so that he could transport all the children to the caterers. He also confessed that instead he would be getting a commission for the same. Initially, the caterers had asked him to organize children, but because he couldn’t he motivated his students instead. The team accompanied all the children to the CHD with the help of the RPF worked out the rehabilitation of the children by the Child welfare Committee. The RPF along with GRP arrested the trafficker in charge of trafficking children.
Children rescued and united with their families
When all the children were brought to the CHD, they were confused, and they could not understand what was happening. Then the social worker and the counsellor spoke with all the children and cleared their doubts, explaining the danger of their situation and the timely rescue that helped all the children stay calm. Further conversation with the children revealed that they were highly influenced by the trafficker and blindly trusted him because he was their teacher and he was promising to fulfil all those needs that their parents were unable to.
The team informed the Child Welfare Committee about the incident and after all the paperwork was done, they were directed towards proper rehabilitation and mainstreaming within their families. Soon the parents of all the children were informed about the situation and at the same time they were counselled and encouraged to focus on their children. As part of the follow up, it was found that the children were back at school and happy at home, and all the parents were very grateful for rescuing their children from the trafficker.