|Human trafficking rising in the hills of Darjeeling|
"Flesh trade is on the rise mainly due to unemployment resulting from political unrest and porous borders that the district shares with three countries (Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh)," said Nirnay John Chettri of Mankind in Action for Rural Growth (MARG).
"In only about a year, 473 girls have been reported missing from the district. There may be many families who did not even report such cases fearing the social stigma," Chettri added.
MARG has been raising awareness about human trafficking through a documentary film "Sapana" that is based on the life of a 14-year-old victim, who was rescued from here last year.
At the screening of the film at the American Centre in the national capital, Chettri said: "We want to air this documentary nationally so that some measures taken by the authorities and help provided to the victims for rehabilitation."
Darjeeling district does not have even a single protective home for rescued victims, he added.
MARG is a non-government organisation (NGO) working since 2006 on raising awareness about human trafficking in India. From 2011 to 2012, the organisation has rescued 45 girls, among which 12 were minors.