Tulasa has been forgotten. And with her the terrible plight that this girl child faced before her death also has been thrown to the dust bins of amnesia. This 12 year old Nepali girl was kidnapped from her village in 1982 before being tortured mercilessly in the brothels of Mumbai. Working as a prostitute, she was forcibly made to serve in several hotels as sex slave. Her misery ended with her death (in 1995) and only after she had contacted several diseases such as meningitis, brain tuberculosis and sexually transmitted disease. The media glare (for Tulasa – ‘Save Tulasa Campaign’) and subsequent government action flickered for a short span of time before everything was coldly buried in government files.
That inaction unfortunately has failed to prevent similar plight for millions of Tulasas in this country. Despite the legal ban on prostitution in India, approximately 2.3 million women and child sex workers are still employed by this nefarious trade. It
has been reported that more than 70%
of the sex-workers are forced into the trade. Women rights organisation and NGOs estimate that more than 12,000 women
and child are trafficked annually into the sex districts of Kolkata and Mumbai alone. Abhorringly 6,000 to 10,000 of the forced migrants come from Nepal, Bangladesh and economically backward states of India. Kolkata remains as the transit point for traffickers to sell helpless Bangladeshi women to New Delhi, Mumbai and UP.
Trafficking of naïve women and children for sex trade is not only a matter of shame for law enforcement agencies but also
a matter of grave concern for economic planners of this country. Though India
has Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act but the law remains lame due the lack
of effective implementation. If India claims to move towards development and
prosperity, women here need both safety and respect.