Nizara, a young woman presently sheltered with her maternal aunt near Seajuli Tea Estate under Bogeenadi Police Station in Lakhimpur district with her two young children. She was not allowed to stay in her parental house in Panchnoi, near Dejoo Tea Estate. Nizara has recently escaped a long ordeal of sex slavery inside Arunachal Pradesh where she was abducted and trafficked at a very young age. She has lost her own identity and childhood memory and also her mother tongue. Sharing her traumatized life in Arunachal Pradesh Nizara narrated her endless horrible experiences of physical abuse and torture before this correspondent. Expressing her inability to name her abductor-trafficker as she was in a very early age, Nizara said that she became mother at the age of 13 by her employer named Hagu Palang of Kamle district of Arunachal Pradesh. She could not breastfeed her first child, a daughter because of her teenaged motherhood. She was forced to work in the cardamom plantations of Hagu Palang for 12 hours a day after the delivery of the child and was subjected to physical abuse by his wives from earlier marriages. Nizara said that Palang had three wives and he kept her as a sex slave. She also alleged that a son of Palang’s first wife murdered her daughter by drowning in a river. After that Nizara was continued to be used as a forced labour in the cardamom plantation and exploited as a sex slave by Palang for several years. She gave birth two more children—one daughter who is now two and half years old and a son who is about one year. Nizara waited for a chance for an escape from the endless exploitation and a couple of days ago and reached Lakhimpur district border with the help from an old woman. But her destiny waited for more trouble as her parental family refused to give shelter at Panchnoi, Dejoo. Her father Chunnilal Karmakar and mother Julie Karmakar has long been dead. The apprehension of being caught by Palang again also haunts Nizara. Destitute with two young children with uncertain future Nizara is now waiting for justice. Nizara’s longing for justice for her prolonged turbulence and trauma once again unearths the existence of forced sex slavery on girls trafficked from Assam inside Arunachal Pradesh. Notably Nizara also reveals that there are many trafficked girls from Assam who are kept as slaves in remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh. Trafficking of both boys and girls to be engaged as slaves in various plantations and other hard works inside Arunachal Pradesh has been on unabated. In most cases the victims are from the tea garden Adivasi and religious minority community from Assam who are targeted by the traffickers by taking advantage of their vulnerable position in the society.
This story was submitted in response to #SpiritAwards.