“Paro” or “mol ki bahuein” as these women and girls are called by the local residents of Haryana. Many NGOs have been here, trying to rescue these women and breaking down the network with the help of education and awareness.
In Morkhi village, around 225-km from Chandigarh, if one speaks of women from outside the state, they are unwelcome. This pretty much explains how dire the situation is in Haryana.
This Is Practically Human Trafficking
Due to the abysmal sex ratio in districts of Mewat, Jind, Rohtak, Sonipat and Mahendragarh, there has been a steady emergence of an elaborate network of traffickers that facilitate the purchase of women from across the country as potential brides for men.
These girls are bought from all over the country, from states like Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. According to a survey in 56 Haryana villages where this happens, about 7% of women are traded like objects from other states and are living without any human rights whatsoever.
The problem at the core is that it is so common, it has been institutionalised and is deemed to be the norm. This is exactly where we Indians have lost our humanity and normalised a very wrong trend in the state.
Living Conditions And Brokerage
Most of these arrangements are symbiotic in nature. The husband needs a wife to ensure their lineage, help with household chores and have an extra hand in the farmwork. The wife’s family, out of the dire necessity of money for a dowry, sell their daughters for marriage.
There are reference points in these villages that pinpoint vulnerable people and strike a deal. A Paro and her husband themselves may become an agent for the same and get girls from their hometowns. The worst part is that these marriages have no legal validity and these women are abused and resold to another man for quick cash.
More often than not, these Paros are sold and the husband gets a handsome commission on the deal. These deals are finalised on the woman’s age, beauty and virginity.
This is a treacherous ordeal that one trafficked woman has to go through. Villagers keep their mouth shut, but every inch of these villages have such abysmal stories to say.
The problem is caused by the normative culture of treating women like they are expendable and a liability to the family in the region. This causes female infanticide and in turn, there is a huge discrepancy in the sex ratio.
Due to the fact that there is a discrepancy, all sorts of mechanisms to further facilitate women trafficking. The business was booming in the past few years as the sex ratio worsened for the census of 2011, with 830 women per 1000 men.
The internet services in this region have made the business more efficient, as communication became almost instantaneous.
The only way to stop such malpractice would be education and spreading awareness, but even in the best-case scenario of the current situation, it would probably take around 20 years to see any positive worthwhile change in the mindset and the demolition of such a network.
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This post is tagged under: Haryana, slavery, human trafficking, women’s rights, are women still sold in India, is human trafficking ongoing in India, paro in India, women from bengal, domestic abuse, taboo, poor sex ratio, Indian illiteracy, rapes in India, women sold as commodities