FAMILY MEMBERS BEHIND HALF OF CHILD TRAFFICKING CASES, SAYS UN-BACKED DATA STUDY

The article originally appeared on India Today.

It is a family member in almost half of the cases who forces a child into human trafficking, says a first of its kind study by the United Nations’ migration agency- the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Statistics from the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), an IOM imitative, reveal that children are “most commonly trafficked for sexual exploitation, beggary and domestic work and are most likely to be coerced into trafficking through physical, sexual and psychological abuse”. The study emphasises on the need to have more specific prevention efforts keeping this in mind.

In India, nearly one lakh children go missing every year, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs data.

The CTDC data also reveals that a family member is more likely to target boys than girls. Statistics also say that the “family involvement is up to four times higher in cases of adult trafficking.”

The 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) also corroborates this revelation confirming the insider hand of family, “Most of the time, the trafficking is not committed by highly organized criminal networks, but rather by family members, acquaintances and neighbours.”

With increasing awareness and tough legal actions, the human traffickers’ focus is shifting from women trafficking to the trafficking of men and children.

While 51 per cent of the trafficked victims are still women, the number has gone down from 66 per cent in 2006 whereas in the same period, the number of trafficked men and children has gone up from 34 per cent to 49 per cent now. For children, this figure is now 28 per cent from 22 per cent in 2006.

CTDC is the first global database on human trafficking, hosting information from across the world. It is first of its kind portal that presents to the world an open access to a repository of human trafficking data from multiple counter-trafficking agencies. The portal also hosts 80,000 case studies of human trafficking with victims from as many as 180 countries.

William Lacy Swing, IOM’s Director General says “his organization is taking a leading role in increasing the access to the critical information in order to strengthen counter-trafficking interventions” and has called on governments and other agencies to partner and step up efforts.

©SantoshChaubey

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A LIFE KALEIDOSCOPIC – THE SUN RISES OVER THE GANGA

IN GOD’S OWN CITY – VARANASI VIBES

THE SUN RISES OVER THE GANGA

INDIA’S OLDEST LIVING CITY – INDIA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL – AND THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL CAPITAL THROUGH RANDOM CLICKS

©SantoshChaubey

AS THE GANGA FLOWS – MANIKARNIKA GHAT

IN GOD’S OWN CITY

MANIKARNIKA GHAT
VARANASI VIBES

INDIA’S OLDEST LIVING CITY – INDIA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL – AND THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL CAPITAL THROUGH RANDOM CLICKS

©SantoshChaubey

A LIFE KALEIDOSCOPIC – AS THE GANGA FLOWS

IN GOD’S OWN CITY

AS THE GANGA FLOWS
VARANASI VIBES

INDIA’S OLDEST LIVING CITY – INDIA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL – AND THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL CAPITAL THROUGH RANDOM CLICKS

©SantoshChaubey

A LIFE KALEIDOSCOPIC – THE GHAT LIFE

IN GOD’S OWN CITY

THE GHAT LIFE
VARANASI VIBES

INDIA’S OLDEST LIVING CITY – INDIA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL – AND THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL CAPITAL THROUGH RANDOM CLICKS

©SantoshChaubey

A LIFE KALEIDOSCOPIC – THE SUN RISES OVER THE GANGA

IN GOD’S OWN CITY – VARANASI VIBES

THE SUN RISES OVER THE GANGA

INDIA’S OLDEST LIVING CITY – INDIA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL – AND THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL CAPITAL THROUGH RANDOM CLICKS

©SantoshChaubey

A LIFE KALEIDOSCOPIC – THE DURGAKUND AREA TEMPLES: VARANASI VIBES

IN GOD’S OWN CITY

THE DURGAKUND AREA TEMPLES
A LIFE KALEIDOSCOPIC
VARANASI VIBES

INDIA’S OLDEST LIVING CITY – INDIA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL – AND THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL CAPITAL THROUGH RANDOM CLICKS

©SantoshChaubey

INDIAN RAILWAYS ENQUIRY SYSTEM – LYING, AS USUAL….

My parents were travelling from ShivGanga Express (12559 – Varanasi to New Delhi) last evening. The train, considered the most important one between Varanasi and New Delhi, starts from the Manduadih station (MUV), one of the sub-stations of the Varanasi Railway Junction, at 7:40 PM and arrives in New Delhi (NDLS) at 8:10 AM the next day. And the thing is, its gets delayed daily. Okay, don’t get swayed by Indian Railways’ National Train Enquiry System (NTES) app on your smartphone or – https://enquiry.indianrail.gov.in/ntes/ – its desktop version.

They work overtime to do the damage control that has become synonymous with Indian Railways – chronic delays. Most of the time, they end up showing ‘earlier than real’ time of a train’s arrival. But this ‘jugaad’ hurts the Indian Railway’s misplaced pride even more. The network that has been busy fleecing passengers during some last years to increase its revenue, with measures like dynamic fare pricing as air carriers do or Premium Tatkal scheme that makes even a sleeper class ticket as expensive as AC-II or AC-III, has absolutely failed to meet the most basic need of any transport network – timely arrival and departure of trains. And mind you, most of this is due to its human network. The irony of all this is, you can easily find cheaper airfares for the same route than what some of premium trains offer.

And when even most of its premium trains routinely get delayed – including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto – we don’t need to do much data digging about the state of affairs with the superfast trains, like the one my parents were travelling from. And last evening and this morning were no different. The train usually starts getting late as it passes the Allahabad Junction. By the time the train arrives in Kanpur, already an hour or two late, it enters the phase where it adds up delayed minutes to its quantum quite regularly, so much so, that by the time it reaches in the catchment area of Delhi, it becomes a nightmare for passengers.

These are the snapshots of the NTES app this morning that show how Indian Railways takes us for a ride. The screenshots taken at 10:36 AM show the train is delayed by 2.21 hours and will reach Delhi by 10:31 AM. We can give the NTES benefit of doubt here as the site may take some minutes in updating the information.

So I called my parents at 10:41 AM to confirm if the train had arrived so that I could ask the driver to approach them but what they told me, in turn told me, that the train was still hours away, even if it was just 15 Kms away from the New Delhi railway station. The train was just crossing the Anand Vihar Terminal. I again called them at 11:10 AM and they said the same thing, that they were still in the Anand Vihar area.

I again checked the NTES app at 11:13 AM. It was now showing the train was delayed by 2.48 hours with its expected New Delhi arrival at 10:48 AM. But here is this thing to see. This information on the NTES app was updated at 10:39 AM, 39 minutes after the last update at 10 AM as we can see in the screenshots but both show the same last station departed – ‘Departed from Chipyana Buzurg at 9:55 AM 23 Nov. 29 Kms to arrive New Delhi.’ So, in a sense, no real time update. The maps of the train route are also showing the same pointers.

I again checked the NTES app at 11:24 AM. And bingo, this time it showed the train had arrived New Delhi at 11:05 AM (delayed by 2.55 hours). The information was updated at 11:18 AM. Keeping in mind the history of the NTES app for giving misleading information, I called my parents at 11:25 PM to confirm it. And guess what they said. They told me that the train was still standing at the Shivaji Bridge station, almost 1.5 Kms away from the New Delhi railway station. The train finally arrived at the New Delhi railway station at 11:37 AM, delayed by 3.27 hours.

©SantoshChaubey

EMOTIONS

When emotions flow
Don’t hold them
For, it is who you are
Free, unhinged
And that is how
A life should be
So, be free like them
And seek their energy
To shape your convictions
And to find harmony there
Emotions don’t ask
They only correlate
To ‘who you have been’
Resolute, spirited
The way
A life should have been
So, be pure like them
And imbibe their soul
For a journey
That should be what
You thought you’d be

©SantoshChaubey

ZIMBABWEANS ARE RIGHT IN CELEBRATING MUGABE’S OUSTER, EVEN IF IT MAY BE FOR A DAY

A ruthless dictator of 37 years humiliated. His wife having larger than life presence shut down. And people are celebrating the ouster.

And why not? Even if it is for a day! Even it if it is for a week!

They are celebrating the departure of a man who made their country a living hell, who crushed and killed them at will, who lived a lavish life while they were cursed to live a life of have-nots.

‘Zimbabwe and economy’ and ‘Zimbabwe and industry’ have been made misnomers by Robert Mugabe.

They were living and dying in utter poverty while the dictator’s wife was a millionaire shopper of luxury brands in western countries, earning even the nickname of ‘Gucci Grace’.

So, it is their day. They are singing. They are dancing. They are chanting. They are simply overjoyed.

They can openly called names for that man. They can freely mock him. They can make jokes in his (and his wife)’s name without fear of persecution. They were protesting and now they are speaking their mind, something unheard of in the country so far.

Even if it all may be a clever ploy to install another dictator, who used to be the henchman of the outgoing dictator, and is nicknamed ‘crocodile’ for the way he has lived so far.

Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe may be paying the price for the foolish acts of his wife Grace Mugabe. It all began when 93-year old dictator-cum-president Mugabe tried to remove his henchman and vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa to make way for his wife Grace Mugabe, a reviled figure in the country. Well, the henchman fled the country, but with designs in his mind.

And then things moved quickly behind the scenes. Probably, Grace was not just totally unacceptable to ordinary Zimbabweans only but also to its army and the sole ruling party Zaanu-PF, the power coterie that has had been sanctifying the Mugabe dictatorship. So, within weeks, the oldest serving head of the state on the planet is gone and his henchman-turned-sacrificial lamb-turned-foe is slated to take over from him.

So, in a sense, nothing is expected to change. The coterie that was behind Mugabe is still calling shots. And Mnangagwa for Mugabe! Well, that is not a change in real terms.

But that should not take away the rare event of freedom and celebration that Zimbabweans have got after for 37 years, ever since the country came into existence after its independence in 1980. That was the year when their revolutionary hero, Robert Mugabe, who was also trained as a teacher, took over the reins of the country.

But a revolutionary who quickly showed his colours, like most of the revolutionaries around the world have done, be it in USSR or in China or in Cuba or in many other countries, and clung to power like a leech. The next decades were testimony to his fiefdom; bleeding and humiliating a nation like even most dictators fail to do. Going of such a person in such a humiliating way is a befitting healing touch for their wounds.

So, they will see what happens tomorrow. For the moment, let them bask in the glory of people power, even if it is symbolic, for they have got this healing touch after decades. The day, the event, has come as a ‘dream come true’ for them.

For them at the moment, they are speaking and Mugabes are silent, and it is what matters for them.

©SantoshChaubey