Principal Correspondent, Ranchi: On the 36th day of assuming the charge of the Government , the Chief Minister Hemant Soren had tweeted to the deputy commissioners of all districts, directing them to take strict action against human traffickers. This was just the start of an era of transformation and a bright future for the vulnerable population in the state. Since then, the state government has been working tirelessly to curb the menace of human trafficking.
The pandemic induced one of the biggest migration crises in our country. CM Hemant Soren dealt with this issue with a sympathetic and sensitive approach. He directed officials to look into each and every case related to the migrant crisis with the same approach as against human trafficking.
In the later part of June 2021, the Chief Minister came to know about the stranded migrant labourers in the Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh. He intervened and immediately directed officials to take every necessary measure to ensure their safe return. As a result, 33 migrant labourers including female and children were safely rescued and brought back to Jharkhand. The smile on the faces of these people was acknowledgement of the effort of the government. These labourers then went on to discuss in detail, their hellish experience while working as a brick kiln labourer. Their unpaid dues, abusive treatment by the kiln owners and 2 of their friends who were not released by the contractor, was part of their oral document. CM Hemant Soren did not waste any time and ensured that the other two women, Salomi and Mamta lakda from lohardaga were rescued safely and brought back to Ranchi on 26 June 2021. Top officials from the labour department connected with the officials of Deoria district and an amount of Rs 5,00,000 was paid back to these labourers against their due wage.
This is not the first time when the Chief Minister has made it a point to personally resolve cases related to human trafficking or migration crises. There are a multitude of such events wherein the management of the crises and work against human trafficking is being conducted extensively and sensitively.
Migrants who have been returning home in the wake of the pandemic are being brought back to Jharkhand on the state government’s expense, they are being provided with welfare benefits and with jobs in accordance with their skill sets.
Every measure is being ensured for the rehabilitation of girls rescued from human trafficking. They are being provided with a living expense of Rs 2,000/month until they attain 18 years of age, free education, and vocational training to make them self-reliant.
On 24 June 2021, a crackdown by Jharkhand Police successfully rescued almost 30 minor girls and boys from Ranchi railway station and Birsa Munda Airport. They all were being trafficked to Delhi. Also, the traffickers were arrested during these actions.
In the first week of June 2021, the government came to know about 36 tribal girls/women stranded in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. They had sought help from the government and like other rescue missions, the government responded swiftly. They all were working in textile firms in Tamil Nadu. However, many of them had lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 and were left with no means to return home. On 04 June 2021, they all were brought back to Jharkhand through a train, where a special coach was arranged for them.
During the 2nd wave of Covid-19, 26 migrant labourers from Dumka’s Jama block were stranded in Nepal and they sought help from the government. Few of the labourers connected with their families and asked to seek help from the government. Labourers were forced to live miserable lives and many of them required medical care. The moment it came into the knowledge of the chief minister, he contacted the Nepalese embassy in India and requested them to arrange for their travel to the Nepal-India border. He also requested to provide them with necessary medical treatment before their travel. A special bus tagged with an ambulance was sent to the Nepal-India border to bring back the labourers. They were received by the officials of Jharkhand government at the international border, they were provided with dry ration supply as immediate assistance. Labourers were then taken back to Dumka where they were tested for COVID-19 along with other health check-ups before sending them home.
In another operation against human trafficking in the month of February, 14 minors, including 12 girls and 2 boys were rescued from the national capital of Delhi. They all were lured for a better life there by the traffickers but instead were forced into working as domestic help without any wage. The government got to know about them through Delhi Children Home and within days they all were rescued by the administration. On 17 February 2021 they were brought back to Ranchi.
There are numerous incidents wherein the government stepped up to rescue victims of human trafficking or migration crises. However, these few major operations help reflect the commitment and sensitivity of the government towards its people.
On 7th November 2020, 45 girls were rescued and were airlifted from Delhi. These girls were taken to Delhi through hiring agencies on the pretext of employment. But, they were being sold by the traffickers. A minimum input from a source and government came into action. Every single girl was brought back safe and sound. On their return, the state government arranged brain mapping sessions and discussed their future plans. The Chief Minister has also approved a proposal for the establishment of Anti Human Trafficking Units especially in the districts where the cases of human trafficking are high.
Recently, in an event organized to support children orphaned due to Covid-19, the Chief Minister made a clear statement that the government will not let anyone take advantage of this situation of grief. No child will be a victim of any kind of unfair means and the government will soon come up with a detailed plan for the rehabilitation of such children who unfortunately lost their parents. Also, Special Women Police Officers will be appointed across the state to keep check on human trafficking in the rural part of Jharkhand.