BANKE, May 20: The number of women and children going illegally to India and the Gulf countries for work through the Nepal-India border in Banke district has been increasing every year.
The growing stack of applications submitted at the Maiti Nepal's regional office here by the relatives of the women and children said to be missing, seeking to find their whereabouts, vindicates to this. The relatives and members of families from various districts of State 5, State 7 and the Karnali State have filed these applications.
The number of people submitting applications requesting for tracing the whereabouts of the missing women and children has reached 5,000 in the last 16 years, the data kept by Maiti Nepal regional office shows. Around 400 people have registered such applications in the nine months of the current fiscal year.
Maiti Nepal's regional coordinator Keshab Koirala said most of the women and children, who were reported missing after illegally going for employment in India and through India to the Gulf countries and later found, had suffered physical, mental and sexual exploitation. "Since most of the women said to be missing are from the dalit, janjati and impoverished families, it can be said that poverty is the main problem of those women illegally going for abroad work," Koirala said.
Only some months back, Maiti Nepal rescued 16 women from New Delhi, India, with the cooperation of the Indian police and India's women commission. These women were held hostage in the Indian capital by the middlemen who trafficked them luring them of lucrative jobs in the Gulf countries, it is stated. Before this also, Maiti Nepal had rescued three women from similar circumstances from New Delhi.
The Maiti Nepal's regional office data shows that the highest number of women and children who have been trafficked luring of employment opportunities have gone missing in the Gulf countries while some have gone missing from India. According to coordinator Koirala, the number of women and children trafficked to India and rescued has increased this year compared to the previous years. Koirala said some women are also found working as middle persons in the trafficking trade and they are involved in bringing the unsuspecting women and children from the villages, luring them of finding high-paying work in India and the Gulf countries.
Maiti Nepal has also been intercepting and returning many women and children at risk of being trafficked from the Nepal-India border.