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Exclusive: An Indian Daughter Sold to Sheikh for 2.5 Lakh in Dubai Evacuates

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Heena was threatened that her hands and feets would be chopped off and be thrown away to an untraceable location if she tried to run away from the place
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– by Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, May 10, 2017: Every young girl in India fancies of traveling overseas in the wake of fulfilling her hopes. It takes only a passage of deceived time for the travel agents to thwart someone’s coveted dream into the worst nightmare. Human Trafficking is the common sight in India. It is the third largest crime after drugs and arms trade across the globe.

The majority of the trafficking victims are those from the most disadvantaged social strata. And as we take women and girls into the account, the victims are especially the ones from excluded group thus making them vulnerable to the traffickers.If you are born into a poor family, you have a fair chance of being sold and if you are a girl which is born into a poor family then the risk of getting sold increases a thousand folds.

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Every now and then, young naive girls from India are streamed overseas to solicit the Arab clientele. On the similar grounds, such is a story of the brave Heena, 20 from Jalandhar, Punjab who was sold to Sheikh for 2.5 Lakhs. Just like an ordinary lower class girl, she dreamt of a well-appointed life for herself and her family.

Heena broke the silence in front of the public on May 09 in a press conference arranged by the Helping Hapless, an NGO which seeks to evacuate the victims of Human Trafficking from the Arab countries.

Heena is the sole daughter of her parents and was sent to Dubai through a Travel Agent from Jalandhar who took 2.5 lakh from the girl’s parents. She was promised the job of a Dental Assistant in Dubai. However, on reaching Dubai she was shockingly introduced to the hard-hitting truth of trafficking. Heena was kept locked in a room for days by the harbourers and was later sent to the home of Mohammed Abdullah as a domestic helper. She was mauled several times whenever she requested for a break. Heena has bruises all over the skin of the torment she had to face during her stay to the spiteful place.

“I was given the leftover food to eat. They made me work for twenty hours a day and there were times when I used to ask them to give me rest and was beaten straightaway. I was burnt with the electric press every time I asked them for any favor. They told me to pay 2.5 lakhs If I want to be released.” said Heena.

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Heena was threatened that her hands and feets would be chopped off and be thrown away to an untraceable location if she tried to run away from the place. Wretched with circumstances, Heena withdrew all her hopes to see her family ever again in life. One day Heena got her hands on WhatsApp and she then tried to contact her father. She sent all the pictures of her bruises as a proof to let her father know of the miserable condition she has succumbed to at the cost of earning more. Heena’s father then approached to Ms Amanjot Roomawalia, President of NGO Helping Hapless to solicit for help.

Ms. Roomawalia on March 27 wrote to the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Navdeep Suri to help her bring India’s daughter back to her country. Finally, on 28th April, Dubai Police brought Heena back from the clutch of her employer Mohammed Abdullah.

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“There are nearly about 4-5 cases of Human Trafficking being reported every month. And it takes 2-6 months to evacuate the victims.” told the President of NGO to Newsgram.

The situation of Human Trafficking in India is startling and frightful. Thousands of Indians both Men and Women are sold in Arab Countries and are made to live a life of slavery.

Parents think that sending their kids to middle east means a better life in terms of high salary and employment opportunities. However, such is not the case and many fall prey to the traps of false well-acquainted life.

What should be expected from the government is to build tight grounds against the traffickers. A mere justice to the victims take years which is again a question on the hollow system of law and order of the country.

– Reported by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A Peace Visionary and a Man Who Believed in India’s Destiny and was Ready To Fight For It

It was precisely this persona of Vajpayee -- one merged in Hindutva ideology yet seemingly not wholly willing to bow to it -- that won him admirers cutting across the political spectrum.

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's peace visionary. Image: Flickr

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a man of moderation in a fraternity of jingoistic nationalists; a peace visionary in a region riven by religious animosity; and a man who believed in India’s destiny and was ready to fight for it.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (93), who died on Thursday, will go down in history as a person who tried to end years of hostility with Pakistan and put development on the front burner of the country’s political agenda. He was also the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full five-year term.

Even though he lived the last 13 years of his life in virtual isolation, dogged by debilitating illnesses and bedridden, he has left an enduring legacy for the nation and the region where he was much loved and respected across the political spectrum and national boundaries, including in Pakistan.

Vajpayee, former Indian Prime Minister
Vajpayee stunned the world by making India a declared nuclear state. Image: Wikimedia Commons

In the tumultuous period he presided over the destiny of the world’s largest democracy, Vajpayee stunned the world by making India a declared nuclear state and then almost went to war with Pakistan before making peace with it in the most dramatic fashion.
In the process, his popularity came to match that of Indira Gandhi, a woman he admired for her guts even as he hated her politics.

He also became the best-known national leader after Indira Gandhi and her father Jawaharlal Nehru.

After despairing for years that he would never become Prime Minister and was destined to remain an opposition leader all his life, he achieved his goal, but only for 13 days, from May 16-28, 1996, after his deputy, L.K. Advani, chose not to contest elections that year.
His second term came on March 19, 1998, and lasted 13 months, a period during which India stunned the world by undertaking a series of nuclear tests that invited global reproach.

Although his tenure again proved short-lived, his and his government’s enhanced stature following the world-defying blasts enabled him to return as Prime Minister for the third time on October 13, 1999, a tenure that lasted a full five-year term.

When finally he stepped down in May 2004, after an election that he was given to believe he would win, it marked the end of a long and eventful political career spanning six decades.

Vajpayee had gone into these elections riding a personality cult that projected him as a man who had brought glory to the nation in unprecedented ways. The BJP’s election strategy rested on seeking a renewed mandate over three broad pillars of achievement that the government claimed — political stability in spite of the pulls and pressures of running a multi-party coalition; a “shining” economy that saw a dizzying 10.4 percent growth in the last quarter of the previous year; and peace with Pakistan that changed the way the two countries looked at each other for over 50 years.

The results of the elections could not have come as a greater shock to a man who was hailed for his achievements and who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 influential men of the decade.

Success didn’t come easily to the charismatic politician, who was born on Christmas Day in 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, into a family of moderate means. His father was a school teacher and Vajpayee would later recall his early brush with poverty.

He did his Masters in Political Science, studying at the Victoria College in Gwalior and at the DAV College in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where he first contested, and lost, elections. He began his professional career as a journalist, working with Rashtradharma, a Hindi monthly, Panchjanya, a Hindi weekly, and two Hindi dailies, Swadesh and Veer Arjun. By then he had firmly embraced the ideals of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
But even as he struggled to win electoral battles, his command over Hindi, the lingua franca of the North Indian masses, his conciliatory politics and his riveting oratory brought him into public limelight.

Also read: For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

His first entry into Parliament was in 1962 through the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. It was only in 1971 that he won a Lok Sabha election. He was elected to the lower house seven times and to the Rajya Sabha twice.

Vajpayee
Vajpayee spent months in prison when Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency rule in June 1975. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Vajpayee spent months in prison when Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency rule in June 1975 and put her political opponents in jail. When the Janata Party took office in 1977, dethroning the Congress for the first time, he became the foreign minister.

The lowest point in his career came when he lost the 1984 Lok Sabha polls, that too from his birthplace Gwalior, after Rajiv Gandhi won an overwhelming majority following his mother Indira Gandhi’s assassination. And the BJP he led ended up with just two seats in
the 545-member Lok Sabha, in what looked like the end of the road for the right-wing party.

In no time, Vajpayee was replaced and “eclipsed” by his long-time friend L.K. Advani.
Although they were the best of friends publicly, Vajpayee never fully agreed with Advani’s and the assorted Hindu nationalist groups’ strident advocacy of Hindutva, an ideology ranged against the idea of secular India.

Often described as the right man in the wrong party, there were also those who belittled him as a moderate “mask” to a hardline Hindu nationalist ideology. Often he found his convictions and value systems at odds with the party, but the bachelor-politician never went against it.

It was precisely this persona of Vajpayee — one merged in Hindutva ideology yet seemingly not wholly willing to bow to it — that won him admirers cutting across the political spectrum. It was this trait that made him the Prime Minister when the BJP’s allies concluded they needed a moderate to steer a hardliner, pro-Hindu party.

He brought into governance measures that created for India a distinct international status on the diplomatic and economic fronts. In his third prime ministerial stint, Vajpayee launched a widely acclaimed diplomatic initiative by starting a bus service between New Delhi and Pakistan’s Lahore city.

Its inaugural run in February 1999 carried Vajpayee and was welcomed on the border by his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif. It was suspended only after the 2001 terror attack on the Indian Parliament that nearly led to a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The freeze between the two countries, including an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the border for nearly a year, was finally cracked in the spring of 2003 when Vajpayee, while in Kashmir, extended a “hand of friendship” to Pakistan. That led to the historic summit in January 2004 with then President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad — a remarkable U-turn after the failed summit in Agra of 2001. Despite the two men being so far apart in every way, Musharraf developed a strong liking for the Indian leader.

His unfinished task, one that he would probably rue, would be the peace process with Pakistan that he had vowed to pursue to its logical conclusion and a resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

He was not known as “Atal-Ji”, a name that translates into firmness, for nothing. He could go against the grain of his party if he saw it deviate from its path. When Hindu hardliners celebrated the destruction of the 16th century Babri Mosque at Ayodhya, he was full of personal remorse for the apocalyptic action and called it — in a landmark interview to IANS — the “worst miscalculation” and a “misadventure”. He even despaired that “moderates have no place — who is going to listen to the voice of sanity?”

In his full five-year term, he successively carried forward India’s economic reforms programme with initiatives to improve infrastructure, including flagging off a massive national highway project that has become associated with his vision, went for massive privatisation of unviable state undertakings despite opposition from even within his own party.

While his personal image remained unsullied despite his long innings in the murky politics of this country, his judgment was found wanting when his government was rocked by an arms bribery scandal that sought to expose alleged payoffs to some senior members of his cabinet. His failure to speak up when members of his party and its sister organisations, who are accused of killing more than 1,000 Muslims in Gujarat, was questioned by the liberal fraternity who wondered aloud about his secular proclamations. He wanted then Chief Minister — now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi — to take responsibility for the riots and quit but was prevailed upon by others not to press his decision.

A day before his party lost power, Vajpayee was quoted as saying in a television interview that if and when he stepped down he would like to devote his time to writing and poetry. But fate ruled otherwise. The man who once rued that “I have waited too long to be Prime Minister” found his last days in a world far removed from the adulation and attention — though across the nation people prayed for his well-being — surrounded only by care-givers and close family whom he even failed to recognize. (IANS)