How children from Assam are trafficked, sold in brothels at price less than that of a buffalo
Guwahati, Sep 23: When Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached Guwahati, Assam, to launch the Bharat Yatra from the Northeast Region on Friday, the well-known child rights activist lamented the rise in number of cases of sexual abuse of children across the country.
The Bharat Yatra, launched by Satyarthi kick-started on September 11 at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, and will culminate in New Delhi on October 16. The idea behind the Yatra is to create awareness about sexual abuse of children and why it is important to raise our voice against the growing malice in society.
Through the march, Satyarthi wants to put pressure on the Centre to make a law dealing with human trafficking.
The march, covering 11,000 km in 22 states with seven flagging off points, includes Guwahati too. From Guwahati, the march will pass through Bongaigaon and Dhubri in Assam, Jalpaiguri and reach Siliguri in West Bengal on September 27. In his long journey, Satyarthi is being accompanied by his wife Sumedha.
The salubrious campus of Gauhati University in the city hosted the Nobel Laureate and hundreds of his friends during the march. During the Guwahati leg of the march, Satyarthi said 80 per cent of the people trafficked from Assam are minors.
"Eighty per cent of people trafficked from Assam are minors, many of whom either land up in brothels or face sexual abuse. They are taken away with the promise of jobs or marriage and sold at a price less than that of a buffalo," said Satyarthi.
Bringing to light the horror of child trafficking cases from Assam, the Nobel Laureate narrated stories of a few girls from the northeastern state who were trafficked and rescued by his team.
He lamented the fact that children were not even safe at home or in school. He said 70 per cent incidents of child abuse take place at home, their neighbourhood or in school.
"Ten years ago the average age of sexually-abused children was around 15 years. Alarmingly it has come down to six to seven years. Child abuse reports appear in the media every day," he said.
Asking people to speak up against child sexual abuse, Satyarthi blamed parents, teachers and elders for maintaining silence on the growing number of child sexual abuse cases.
"Bharat Yatra is against such false family honour and passiveness towards child abuse. It is a call to stir the conscience of people so that they stand up against child abuse incidents," he said.
"Why am I marching? Because my children are being raped. I refuse to accept that eight children go missing and two are raped every hour. Each time if a single child is in danger, India is in danger. Bharat Yatra is to make India safe again for our children," he added.
Satyarthi made the audience take an oath that they would never tolerate child abuse and if required, they would knock on the door of each household of the country to rescue children.
The Bharat Yatra has been supported by President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of the states.