Siliguri being the gateway city of North-Bengal plays an important role in connecting the rest of India to north eastern hill-stations & neighbouring border countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh & China through Sikkim.
Over the years Siliguri’s geographical location has not only made this region a haven for major business groups to invest and yield profits through tourism but also made it a transit location for trafficking.Despite several developments in the economic, political & social sector in this region there is a major gap when it comes to awareness about ‘Human-Trafficking’ its methods, nature and most importantly its heinous impact on the child survivors who are the softest targets for trafficking.
Siliguri is a known transit point for ‘Human-Trafficking but there is a huge knowledge gap which is the lack of clarity & survivor-centricapproach to this issue.
There have also been recent reports that ‘Human-Trafficking’ has risen in the closed tea gardens of Dooars Region. It has been a widely known reality that Many young women & female children are lured to leave their villages for lucrative jobs offers in Major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai & Delhi etc. and mostly they are brought to Siliguri as a transit point and then trafficked to other bigger cities.
When these Survivors are rescued and brought back to their native places most of their families do not accept them back due to a lot of stigma attached to the issue of ‘ Human –Trafficking’ as most of these survivors end up in the sex-trade.
Most importantly most of such case of abuse, Exploitation ,Missing persons & trafficking are not registered in this tea-plantation areas here. Most families do not register a complaint with the Local Police station because of lack of cooperation and trust from the Public Justice system.
Light-House ~ Disha has been working at the cutting edge of this problem at grassroot level. We have been working since 2016 to Raise Awareness, Reduce Stigma to Reintegrate, Restore lives of young vulnerable women in this region specially in remote tea –plantation areas where need of the hour is to empower these young women & children who can live a life of hope & dreams.
We work closely with communities here (especially Tea plantation) & Indo-Nepal border areas making it a bottom top approach
where we understand ground realities and design our strategy of work to combat Human-Trafficking keeping those ground realities in mind. Eventually with a future goal is to start up a Shelter in Siliguri for young vulnerable women from this region.
Give them am environment conducive for them to thrive & equip themselves economically & socially.