TURA, Sep 07: After a meeting between the NGOs of Bajengdoba in North Garo Hills last week, another meeting, this time involving most of the Nokmas, Sordars and Lashkars of the area, was held at the Bajengdoba Multipurpose Complex to work on the resolutions made by the NGOs in an effort to curb the growing menace of human trafficking and abuse of women and children in the area.
“This is a dangerous time for our children as there many looking to take advantage of them. We are gathered to discuss ways to ensure that in our future we are able to contain such elements,” said Mothers Union president, HB Marak, while addressing the gathering on Thursday.
Various NGOs of the area including various units of GSU, FKJGP, ARSU, Mother’s Union, NGH Peace Forum, senior citizens and other local associations were part of the meeting.
The meeting saw attendance of more than 400 nokmas, sordars, lashkars of the villages and interested villagers under Bajengdoba block who came together with a concerned look on their faces as according to most of them the matter was of utmost urgency.
“As we have been stating earlier as well, people from outside the state have been going deep into the heart of our villages, supposedly for business purposes, but some come with ulterior motives. They are the ones who lure our girls away. This has to stopped,” said Panseng B Marak, a resident of the area and advisor to the NGHVF.
Many cases of human trafficking have taken place of girls of the district leading to the residents taking up the matter on a war footing.
“We have been silent for too long leading to many outsiders coming and taking our children and even wives after luring them. They force them into marriage even if they are already married,” added Samar Marak, the general secretary of the GSU Mendal unit.The meeting sought to take resolutions that could be followed by all to ensure the luring of vulnerable girls can stop.
According to resolutions passed by the group, people from outside the state (Assam) would not be allowed to do door to door marketing as this was identified as one of the main reasons for many cases of abuse as well of some women abandoning their children and husbands to elope with others.
“There are village markets in all villages and marketing of goods can be done from there. What is the need of them going door to door,” said Rimjen Ch Sangma, the president of GHSMC, Pedaldoba unit.
Significantly, labourers in various villages would be the complete responsibility of the person who brought them with every one rooting for them to not only come with a valid ID but also to be registered with the local police station.
“Our children have been at the receiving end being vulnerable to traps set by mature men from outside. If the situation is not controlled now, there may be cases of violence pertaining from these acts of outsiders. We don’t want our villages to be a part of this unwanted violence due to circumstances,” said another concerned senior citizen, Hemandra Sangma.
NGH has seen a spurt of cases of minor girls being taken away by people from outside the state.
“These girls have sometime even been trafficked and it makes the situation dangerous. Our effort is to ensure that unwanted interaction between them and criminal elements are minimized or the situation will never change,” said Panseng on the sidelines of the meeting.