Haryana, which is notorious for its most imbalanced sex ratio in India, mostly in the districts Mewat, Hisar and Jind are just a few kilometres away from the mall mile Gurgaon and only about two and half hour ride from the Indian capital.
PARO

 

Bride Trafficking in India, an age-old inhuman activity in society and flagrant violation of the rights, dignity and the liberty of the victims involved. Haryana, which is notorious for its most imbalanced sex ratio in India, mostly in the districts Mewat, Hisar and Jind are just a few kilometres away from the mall mile Gurgaon and only about two- and half-hour ride from the Indian capital. The state has only 879 women for every 1,000 men against the national average of 927 to 1,000. Bride Trafficking in India is so deep rooted in society that providing accurate figures is extremely difficult since it is often impossible to track down and trace individual incidents of Bride Trafficking. In 2013, a report on human trafficking by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that surveyed 10,000 households in Haryana, reveals 9,000 women who had been brought from other states.  Because of the skewed sex ratio, almost 30% of men in Haryana aged between 15 and 45 are unmarried. Taking advantage of the situation organized bride trafficking rackets have started functioning in Haryana.

            Locally the terms ‘Paro’ or ’Molki’ are used for women who have been purchased in other states and brought to these regions. Literally ‘Molki’ means ‘one who has a price’. Affluent skill in trafficking women from poverty-ridden areas of various states of India, mostly West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, has made the ‘Molki’ or ‘Paro’ phenomenon very common here. The women, who are usually promised marriage, find themselves in these areas where the middlemen sell them to men who cannot find local women. Repeated sales are also made in many cases.  Far away from their native states, they are often restricted and forced to work as bonded labour or pushed into forced marriages or prostitution. A Paro never gets all the rights in comparison to a native wifeAccording to some victims, Paro women are treated more roughly than an animal here. The men who find his requirements are fulfilled or in need of money, resell their women to others. According to the locals, poor parents of other states are so helpless that they are compelled to send their daughters here as they cannot afford the dowry for their marriage. Moreover, they get money in return from the traffickers. A woman is priced Rs10,000/- to Rs 50,000/-, depending on the mens’ needs and age. Prices go down with every resale, just similar to any other product. Most of the times the price remains cheaper than the cattle.

It is said that Gender tests and random killing of unborn female babies lead those areas to become the region of most skewed sex ratio in India. The state has only 879 women for every 1,000 men against the national average of 927 to 1,000.
Taking advantage of the skewed sex ratio in Haryana, organized bride trafficking rackets have started functioning here.
Brides from poverty-ridden areas of various states in India like West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and Chattisgarh is a common sight in Haryana and Punjab region.
A woman is priced Rs10,000/- to Rs50,000/-, depending on the mens’ needs and age. Prices go down with every resale, just similar to any other product. Most of the times the prices remain cheaper than the cattle.
Poor parents of other states are so helpless that they are compelled to send their daughters here as they cannot afford the dowry for their marriage. Moreover, they get money in return from the traffickers.
In Haryana, locally the terms ‘Paro’ or ‘Molki’ are used for women who have been purchased in other states and brought to these regions. Literally ‘Molki’ means “one who has a price”. Affluent skill in trafficking women has made the ‘Molki’ or ‘Paro’ phenomenon very common here.
The women, who are usually promised marriage, find themselves in these areas where the middlemen sell them to men who cannot find local women. Repeated sales are also made in many cases.
In the initial years of marriage or until bears a child, the trafficked bride should not be allowed to venture out much, as traffickers instruct the families seeking wives for their sons.
Cut-off from native places, ‘Paro’ or ‘Molki’ women serve as bonded labour in the farm land and households. Married or not, paros are never treated at par with the natives of the region. Most of them are pushed into forced marriages or prostitution.
Marium, a 45 year old women at her hut, on the outskirts of Guhana village in Haryana’s Mewat district, is surrounded by garbage heaps and excreta. There is no water or electricity and the hut is filled with acrid smoke from the cooking fire.
Marium was sold by her father at the age of 15 in Assam. Widowed three months ago, she was thrown out by her in-laws as she is a ‘Paro’ or ‘Molki’.
Chandana, a 30 years old trafficked women from Tripura, with her only son at her residence in a interior village of Hisar in Haryana.
Chandana have to do all the household works as well as the works in the farmland during harvesting seasons.
According to the local men and the ‘Panchayats’, the skewed sex ratio and decrease in the size of land holdings per family responsible for this practice of bride trafficking.
Men in Haryana are concerned about rising number of local boys getting brides from distant states but say they cannot help it. To them, it is a tradition here and they are willing enough to continue it in future also.
Sayedan was brought, at 14, from Bihar’s Bhagalpur district to Rajasthan. She neither remember the features of the man who brought her nor sure about the number of times she has been sold. According to Sayedan, the man was the first to rape her and it continued for three days. Then she was sent to another village where she was violated by at least five men.
The broker then dumped Sayedan with Shahnawaz, a father of six children, in Akheda village in Mewat. After one year, she was again sold for Rs. 25,000/- when she was pregnant.
Mohini, a trafficked bride in Haryana shows burn marks inflicted on her through her husband. “All of my family members died in 2001 earthquake in Bhuj in Gujrat. Later a man brought her to Hisar at the age of 13 and sold her to a truck driver for Rs 10,000/- . Now I live with my six children as my husband left me after two years of marriage” – admitted by Mohini.
Rinku was trafficked for marriage from West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district ten years ago by a broker in Sonepat, Haryana. Faraway from their native states, they are often restricted and forced to work as bonded labour or pushed into forced marriages or prostitution.
Gayatri, one of the trafficked girls who were lured into marriage by traffickers, at her house in Haryana’s Jind district. In Haryana, All the activities of Paro are depended on the inclinations and circumstances of their buyer.
Subina (Left) was 12 years old when she woke up one day in Haryana. She recalls that the floods had wreaked havoc in Assam, when a man approached her father and asked him to send both his daughters to Delhi for a better future. “He gave my father Rs. 12,000 for me and my sister Rubina,” says the 26-year-old who now lives in Gadhola village in Mewat. Subina does odd jobs at nearby farms.
At first, Subina was brought to Haryana’s Mewat district and handed over to a man in his late fifties. He was the uncle of the boy whose picture had been shown to Lakshmi’s father. No marriage was not performed and she had to live with the man. When she objected, she was repeatedly beaten by the broker. After a year, she was sold again for Rs. 10,000/- to truck driver in Mewat.
Ghausia Khan, a bride trafficking survivor, is a member of the district legal aid authority, Mewat, Haryana and a worker with an NGO which deals with trafficking cases. She is the only torch bearer for Mewat’s paros, helps women in distress to find lawyers and provides them with legal informations.
According to Ghausia Khan, more than any of these, it is her moral support which enables victims to overcome the trauma. She has intervened in the cases of local women as well as paros trapped in involuntary marriages.