On 18th of November 2011...

A conference on Anti Human Trafficking was held at Tourist Lodge, Darjeeling today. The conference was organised by Mankind in Action for Rural Growth (MARG) in collaboration with ARZ (Anyay Rahit Zindagi). The Conference was attended by delegates from various Non Governmental Organisations, Law Enforcement Agencies, Media Personnel along with the local populace. Darjeeling Member of Legislative Assembly Trilok Dewan along with other guests lighted the inagural lamp.

Dewan illustrated his experiences vis-a-vis human trafficking in Andhra Pradesh when he was stationed there as a senior bureaucrat. He also informed the gathering that he had talked with the State Social Welfare Minister about the establishment of a Rehabilitation Centre in North Bengal. He asked the gathered delegates to formulate a concrete plan of action and let the Government and Parliamentarians know about the same. He said that with the establishment of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration by late February 2012, the issue of Human Trafficking would be taken as an issue of priority by the GTA.

Addressing the delegates, Ian, representing the British High Commission stressed upon the problems faced in tackling Human Trafficking especially due to the hidden nature of the same. He said that most of the time, victims participated willingly because they believe that they are heading for a better life. He further said that coordination was a real challenge in combating Human Trafficking and as such, conferences and workshops on Anti Human Trafficking was a must in improving coordination between various governmental, non governmental and social organisations.

Nirnay John Chettri, the General Secretary of MARG presented the Case Study on the recent rescue problems faced by the organisation in rescuing of trafficked individuals. He said that there was a lack of Judicial propriertry and as such, traffickers almost always ended up running free as they gained bail easily after been nabbed. He also stressed that there was a general lack of security for the victims as the agents after gaining bail tried to harass the victims. Offering an example of how the agents and traffickers maintained a hold over the victims, he said that a girl from Darjeeling who was rescued by MARG had all her educational documents in the custody of the traffickers. The girl he mentioned was pursuing her Masters Degree when she fell in the trap of the traffickers. He ultimately demanded that there has to be rehabilitation centre where the victims could be rehabilitated and offered counselling.

Rongu Shouria, Chairperson, Kanchanjunga Uddhar Kendra, Siliguri, illustrated the problems faced by the NGOs. She informed the delegates that Kanchanjunga Uddhar Kendra had so far rescued more than 300 girls. She said that there was however, a huge problem when it came to rehabilitating them. She also said that the society was still reluctant to accept the trafficked girls in its fold. She said that her organisation was working towards the establishment of a rehabilitation centre in Siliguri and had applied to various Governmental Agencies for the same.

Mrinalini Srivastava, Superintendent of Police, CID, Sikkim, spoke about the Anti Human Traffic Unit (AHTU). She said that there were about 1.3 million prostituted children in India. She also said that the police was a reactive agency and that it only acted when an FIR is lodged. She said that since only a General Diary (GD) was admissible in the case of a missing person, the police could not act on the same. She was later informed by Tauseef Ali Azhar, Darjeeling Town DSP that as per the Police order No. 7 of 2011 of the Government of West Bengal that missing person case had now to be serially numbered and then taken into investigation by a Sub Inspector or an Assistant Superintendent of Police. Mr. Deodas Biswas District Social Welfare Officer informed about the centre and state government schemes and Deputy Commandant Mr. Ashish Kumar from SSB shared the role of SSB in combating human Trafficking in the border areas of Nepal and Bhutan.

A webportal was also inagurated during the conference by Arun Pandey of ARZ.

Vivek Chettri, senior correspondent of The Telegraph speaking on the role of media in combating Human Trafficking said that there was no such thing as national media and that even the national dailies now had been transformed into regional dailies. He said that most of the times it was not possible to publish every single news about human trafficking simply because of the lack of authentic information. He asked the delegates to however, not get disheartened and said that the media understood its role in combating human trafficking and was committed to it. A play on Human Trafficking staged by Youth with a Mission (YWAM) group with Mr. Depen Rai, team leader stunned the gathering with their performance.

At the end of the conference various suggestions made by the delegates in the Prevention, Rescue and Rehabilitation and Repartriation of the trafficked individuals were registered. A core team based on volunteers to follow up with the demand for the shelter home of the trafficked girls was also created.




Mr. Arun Panday (Chairperson ARZ, Goa) Mr. Ian (Second Secretary, British High Commission New Delhi)

Honorable Mr. Trilok Dewan, (MLA, Darjeeling), Mr. John Borgoyary (UNwomen New Delhi)

Guests lighting inaugural lamp



MARG (General Secretary Mr. Nirnay John Chettri) welcomes the guests

Ms. Rangu Shoria (Chairperson Kanchanjunga Uddhar Kendre)



Ms. Mrinalini Shrivastava (IPS) SP CID, Gangtok Sikkim

Mr. A.A. Taussef (WBPS, DSP Town, Darjeeling)


Mr. Palden Bhutia (Police Inspector, CID Gangtok Sikkim)

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