Sani lived with her parents and two brothers in Krishna Nagar,  Nadia District in West Bengal.  Her parents and elder brother were collectively earning approximately Rs 30,000 a month. Sani was studying in the XI Standard at a local school. Sani loved singing and posted many of her  clips on social media.  

Mid July, Sani received a message from Sweety, a 17-year old girl who also lived in Krishna Nagar. Sweety had seen a few of Sani’s singing clips on social media and wanted to talk to her about it. They met at Sweety’s house. Sani was excited and grateful for any help that would launch her as a singer.  Sweety told Sani that she needed to create a portfolio of herself in order to get noticed by the right people. She would arrange a photoshoot for her.  Sweety instructed Sani to try out different outfits that she had left for her in the next room. Sani tried on all the outfits.This 17 year old girl was so caught up in the moment and thankful for her new friend’s interest in helping her. 

Few moments of pleasure turn into months of pain

Her euphoria came crashing down a few minutes later when Sweety came out of the room that Sani was trying out different clothes with a camera in her hand. She had been recording an unsuspecting Sani in several stages of undress.  She threatened to release the videos of a semi naked Sani on social media as well as show it to Sani’s parents, friends and neighbors if Sani didn’t do exactly as she said.

Exactly as Sweety said turned out to be having sex with customers;  becoming a prostitute and working for Sweety. A scared Sani was so horrified at the thought of her semi naked pictures being seen by others that she tearfully agreed.

A day Sani would love to forget…

On 26 July, 2021, Sani has sex with her first customer in a room right next to Sweety’s house. A few days later Sweety introduced Sani to a man named Bheem. Henceforth,  Bheem would be handling Sani and her customers.  Sweety and Bheem charged between Rs 5000-6000 per customer and handed Rs 500 from that amount to Sani.  Men of all ages and sizes had sex  with 17 year old Sani, many of them not even bothering to use a condom. 

Sani started falling ill frequently.  Sweety and Bheem couldn’t care less. They told her to take a two day break but forced her to continue servicing customers.  Not able to bear it, she finally confided in a boy from her neighbourhood. He advised her to stay away from Sweety. He gave her an address of an agency in Kolkata that would help her become a singer, he strictly told her to take one or both parents with her. Her parents and elder brother refused to accompany her to Kolkata. 

All this young girl wanted was a chance to prove herself

Another bitter disappointment 

Sweety learned about Sani’s trip to Kolkata and advised her to go and take good portfolio pictures of herself at a studio in Kolkata.  Sani made her way to the studio in Kolkata. Once she reached, she realised that there weren’t any lights, cameras or photographers. It was another brothel that Sweety sent her to. Sani was forced to service customers for a few weeks and then headed back home where she continued being forced to service customers.  Sweety taught Sani about online sex and shared a link with her and forced her to service customers online as well.

Rescued at last

On 13 September 2021, Sani along with 22 year old Shila were rescued from a guest house in Mayapur, West Bengal by the police and our team. (Read about her rescue here )

When she was just 17

Sani at 17 is a chain smoker who smokes an entire cigarette packet a day, a vice taught to her by one of Sweety’s friends. Her health has deteriorated and she falls sick often, her parents haven’t shown any interest in her well being. They knew she was prostituting herself but chose to look the other way. 

Another friend of Sani urged her to go to the police and report Sweety and Bheem, but Sani was so scared that she refused.  Sani shares that she was forced to service anywhere between 15-20 customers since 26th  July in 10 different locations.

Now that Sani is finally safe she will get the medical attention she so desperately needs at the shelter home. She is a bright student and scored 507 out of 700 in her Madhyamik (X Standard exams.)  Though Sani is a very traumatised girl right now, we are confident that through counselling and constant care, Sani will heal, become stronger and start making plans for her future.

We haven’t forgotten about Sweety and Bheem’s role in all of this. Since Sani has mentioned their names in her 164 statement, we are pushing for their arrest.  They need to be held accountable for their role in exploiting this young girl and young Sani needs justice to stand with her.