Social worker Archana from MP first read about 13-year old Kashi’s rescue from a local newspaper in January 2020. A few calls later, Archana was at the short stay home where Kashi was staying.  After speaking to Kashi, Archaha learned that Kashi was from Bihar and was brought to Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh where she was forced into prostitution. 

A roadside dhaba

Her rescue happened at a local dhaba (roadside restaurant) when the person who brought Kashi to MP and one of his cronies were trying to sell her off to another party.  A person who was also frequenting the dhaba noticed the two men with the 13 year old girl, suspected something was amiss and called the police.  The police reached the dhaba shortly after the tip, rescued Kashi and arrested the two men.

Kashi was placed in the home where Archana conducted life skills. Kashi was quiet and did not share much about her past life during counselling sessions.  During the lockdown in 2020 and 2021,   Archana continued to have virtual sessions with Kashi and other girls in the shelter home.

In July 2021,  we received a certified copy of Kashi’s case file from the court. We discovered that Kashi’s father was the one who sold her to a trafficker named Govind for Rs 40,000.  Govind then brought  Kashi to her cousin, Rani’s house in Neemuch. Rani was from Bihar and was sold by her parents and trafficked to Neemuch for prostitution a few years ago and was also involved in forcing Kashi into prostitution.   When Archana spoke to Kashi, she learned that Kashi’s father was still living in Nawada District in Bihar without a care in the world. 

On 24 July, 2021 Archana went to the Manasa Police station in MP and very casually brought up Kashi’s father. She shared that he was the one responsible for selling his 13-year old daughter into the sex trade.  Archana was happy to learn that the police took her unofficial complaint seriously and on 29 July 2021, Kashi’s father was arrested and taken into police custody in Bihar. 

Kashi, daydreaming during her life skills session

We can only hope that he receives a just punishment for selling his daughter.  Govind the trafficker and Rani, Kashi’s cousin were also arrested but disappointingly, out on bail.  Expecting Kashi’s father to also apply for bail, we are working to oppose his bail request as well as get Govind and Rani’s bail cancelled. We are planning to expedite the trial case through legal intervention. 

We are so thankful that Kashi is safe today and getting the care and attention she needs to rebuild her life. Archana shares, “ Kashi has improved so much. She has put on weight and looks healthier. She gets on well with other girls. She enjoys doing chores around the shelter home and has expressed an interest to study.”

Though we may not have had a hand in rescuing Kashi,  we are glad that we were able to get her father arrested and help Kashi get justice.