Udaipur (Raj): Life had become hell for Sugna
Kumari four years ago as the 15-year-old girl from a remote
village here had to work in a Bt cotton field in Gujarat
through the day and forced to have sex in the night.
The plight of Damini, 16, was no better. She was often
beaten for not agreeing to having sex with the middleman who
duped her and brought to the neighbouring state.
These are not just one-off stories of bonded labourers,
the two tribal girls of Rajasthan being victims of a larger
racket in which more than 1,00,000 children were being
trafficked from Udaipur district and its neighbouring areas to
south Gujarat to pick Bt cotton which needs nimble fingers.
"Some men told me that they will give me lot of money for
the work. A big car came to my village that night and took me
and my friends to Gujarat," says Sugna.
"But things were totally different there. We were forced
to work the whole day and kept in a small tent near the field
with some 20 inmates including boys. They even forced us to
have sex and those who opposed were beaten up," she recalls.
"Like these children, there were many girls who had to go
through this misery in Gujarat every year and the condition
for boys there was not smoother either," Dola Mohapatra,
executive director of ChildFund-India, which is working in
rescuing and rehabilitation of such children in the region,
"They had to wake up early in the morning and work in
muddy fields laced with pesticides. Moreover, they had to
suffer verbal and physically abuse if they falter in their