Four Bangladeshi women are free today!
All in their twenties, Zafrina, Aadhysha, Vijetha, and Udaya were born and raised in Bangladesh, a country that ranks particularly low on the Legatum prosperity index. It states that safety and security are especially low, where “war, conflict, terror, and crime have destabilized the security of individuals.”
So when Zafrina, Aadhysha, and Vijetha were offered domestic jobs — as housekeepers in India for the affluent — they jumped at the opportunity. Udaya was solicited to be a bride to a businessman who lived in Mumbai. She was afraid of what her future held, committing her life to a stranger.
But the risks were so much higher than these four women could imagine.
Men coordinated their transportation to India. They weren’t far beyond the border when the small van pulled up to a seedy-looking hotel.
Another man came out to greet the driver and ushered the women inside. They felt alarmed, knowing that the trip was supposed to take longer. But they didn’t speak Hindi and had no way of asking the questions that began to arise.
Their voices could be heard as they talked to each other, tense and in hushed tones: “What is happening? This does not look right.”
And that’s when the cards seemed to fall. They were being sold.
But our national operatives in India are systematically targeting the flow of trafficking along the border with Bangladesh. Team investigators were actively watching for any signs of exploitation, and they worked quickly to put together evidence and collaborate with the police.
Because of the strong relationship national operatives have with the authorities in this area, they were able to move quickly.
Undercover operatives posing as customers were sent in to hand over cash for these women. Once they were taken to hotel rooms, police descended on the traffickers.
A female officer approached the women with open arms and a gentle voice: “We are here to help you. Peace. You are not at fault.”
And the four women were taken away, in safety. They would need time to heal from this handful of days in the brothel. But thanks to our national operatives, the quick action of police, and your funding, they can start to heal.
*Names, image, and some details representational