Here is a report I am very proud of..It appeared in Youandaids, a flagship publication of the UNDP. It is a pity that UNDP stopped bringing out such publications...
ON a summer evening, inside an apartment on the outskirts of Delhi, a young girl with kohl-lined eyes in a bright blue salwar-kameez, sits engrossed in front of a television screen. The images of mushy love, longing and separation
is part of her daily diet. It is “Desh Me Nikla Hoga Chaand’ my favourite serial” she says. At age sixteen, Rita (not her real name) could be the typical, TV-addicted Indian teenager, except that nothing else about her life resembles the girl-next-door. Born into a poor family in a village in Khulna district, Bangladesh, Rita lost her mother when she was very young. Her father brought her to Kolkata and left her with an uncle when she was barely nine. Life was hard. And full of danger, as Rita soon discovered. The ‘uncle’ was coercing his own daughter into sex workmuch against the wishes of his wife. Terrified, with nowhere to go, Rita felt vulnerable. Her father did not keep in touch and her aunt, though sympathetic, could do little to help her.