NEW DELHI: Shikha (name changed) is barely 13, but her experiences over the last fortnight have added years to her age. The Sikkim teenager, a victim of trafficking, was rescued from a street off G B Road on Monday. The authorities in Sikkim, meanwhile, were quick to apprehend the alleged trafficker from New Jalpaiguri station in West Bengal.
Shikha's ordeal began when her parents agreed to send her to the capital with one Chandra Maya Rai who allegedly assured them that the child would find employment as a domestic help.
The young girl was allegedly brought to Delhi on September 7 and was provided employed through a placement agency in a house near Munirka.
A week later, Shikha was spotted by a beat constable on a road leading to Delhi's largest red light area. He became suspicious when he found the girl weeping as she crouched in a corner with her belongings.
"Shikha was taken to the Kamla Market police station and inquiries revealed that the child was working as a domestic help in a house in Munirka where she was made to clean the house and wash utensils. The girl revealed that she was also slapped by her employers," revealed Rishikant from NGO Shakti Vahini, which is handling the case.
Speaking to media, Shikha said she did not like the place where she was made to work and asked Rai to take her back home. At this Rai threatened to sell her off for Rs 25 lakh, Shikha alleged. The traumatised teenager claimed that on Monday when the lady who she worked for went to take a bath, she escaped and took a bus to the station. However, it was not clear how she landed near G B Road.
Rishikant said senior officials swung into action as soon as the incident was reported. "It was around 11.30pm that the matter came to light. The girl was shifted to Sikkim House and authorities in Sikkim were intimated. The parents of the girl were located and it came to light that Rai was on her way by train to Sikkim," senior officials said. She was apprehended by the authorities soon after the train reached New Jalpaiguri.
Meanwhile, Shikha was produced before the Child Welfare Committee in Mayur Vihar and handed over to the Sikkim authorities. The child will now be sent back to her parents. To ensure that Shikha does not find herself again in a trafficking chain, the CWC issued directions to the state authorities to keep a vigil for one year on the child's movements.