Her name resembles the cutest doll that any girl of her age dreams to have and play with – Barbie. But in reality, instead of having the pleasures of childhood with her favourite doll, she has burn marks on her tender body with multiple fractures on different parts caused by the person who took away her from her parents promising a better life.
Six-year-old Barbie Taye, daughter of Engel Taye (35) of Ramdhon village in Lai Mekuri in Dhemaji district on the inter-State border with Arunachal Pradesh was taken away by one Talom Taloh and his wife Osi Paron Taloh about a year ago by promising a better life and providing free education up to her college level. The deal of taking Barbie from her father was struck by a middle man Daskompany Pegu of Oyan-Jhelum near Ruksin on the Assam-Arunachal border of Dhemaji district. But on January 5, a critically-injured Barbie with severe burn marks on her body was rescued by the police and a local NGO called Women Against Social Evils (WASE) from the house of Talom Taloh in Misram village of Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh. It was first reported by Maksam Tayeng of the Pasighat News, an e-news site on Facebook.
It was found that the accused Talom Taloh kept Barbie as his domestic help and used her as a slave without taking care of her education or providing any monetary help to her father. Barbie’s father, whose wife had left him some years back, tried to get information of his daughter from Talom Taloh several times. But each time he was refused any meeting with Barbie by Talom Taloh. On the other hand Talom Taloh, a known offender with two criminal cases of mysterious deaths of two young girls, tortured Barbie regularly which became public knowledge. On a public complaint, the police rescued her with the help from the NGO. Barbie was rushed to the Pasighat General Hospital with severe burn injuries on her body and head and fractures on her collar bone and legs. Talom Taloh was arrested on the same day of Barbie’s rescue and his wife Osi Paron Taloh on Friday. When contacted the Officer-in-Charge of Pasighat Police Station N. Riba confirmed the arrests of the two accused.
As Barbie is recovering from the brutality of modern day slavery which is still going on in places like Arunachal Pradesh, the existence of girl child trafficking has once again been proven on the inter-State border areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. People from the neighbouring State take away young girls by taking advantage of the poor socio-economic condition of the people living in this area. These trafficked girls are used as slaves in various households in Arunachal Pradesh or further trafficked to outside of this region up to Delhi or NCR areas to be engaged in flesh trade. Barbie’s case is just one example of such inhuman activities which has been on because of the inequality in the society on economic terms and for the indifference by various law enforcing agencies of both the states. There are about 50,000 trafficked girl children from Assam languishing in various households in Arunachal Pradesh engaged in slavery.