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Prostitution to mainstream, with inspiration from judges

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Stepping out of courtroom, judges in Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch district donned a new hat  that of counsellors  to help the mainstreaming of teenage tribal girls rescued from prostitution. Pushed into the trade by their own parents, 15 Banchhada tribe girls rescued by social activists and police in 2019 and 2020 had interaction with judges led by District and Session Judge Hridesh during a workshop in Neemuch. Aged between 14 and 17 years, these girls hailed from Neemuch, Mandsaur and Ratlam.

At the workshop organised jointly on Saturday by Neemuch District Legal Services Authority and NGO Project Mission Mukti, these girls were encouraged to take inspiration from the success attained by young women of their own tribe. The parents of the rescued girls were also present. Flanking them were 25 young tribal women who, after being rescued and rehabilitated, have attained success in diverse professions.

“You and your parents have to decide whether to plunge again into earning easy and quick money or replicate the feats of other girls of your own community who have since taken a different route to make careers in diverse fields, spanning from teaching to nursing and from Aanganwadi workers to police constables,” Judge Hridesh told the teenagers.

The Banchhada tribe has for generations pushed its minor girls into highway and roadside prostitution. It has been forcing girls trafficked from other states into prostitution rackets operated from deras (makeshift shelters) and illegal dhabas on MP-Rajasthan highway. “It’s the first time that judges have taken time out of busy schedule for helping the girls rescued from prostitution,” said advocate Akash Chouhan of the Project Mission Mukti.

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