According to one of the priests at the temple, even such a simple wedding — if carried out between a heterosexual couple — would indeed have been valid, according to an old Hindu marriage tradition known as the Brahmo way.In the full belief that they had been married before the gods, Sanjida and Puja headed for the Kocha river, and took the ferry to Barisal, where they hoped to hide from the wrath of their respective families.The town of Pirojpur, where Sanjida moved to study Bengali literature, resounds with rickshaw bells, the Muslim call to prayer and Hindu temple hymns.
Rising migration within Asia is putting growing numbers of migrants at risk of being trafficked and abused by human smuggling networks, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report last year on the criminal trade, which is worth $2 billion a year in Asia.
South Asia is the fastest-growing region for human trafficking in the world, and the second-largest after Southeast Asia, according to the UNODC.
“They’re so desperate, they are easily lured by the promise of a job or a better life,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Of the 213 children of sex workers enrolled at Prerana’s night care centre in Kamathipura from 2010-15, 128 had a Bengali-speaking mother, the data showed.
India signed an agreement with Bangladesh last year to strengthen cooperation and information sharing and ensure speedier investigations and prosecutions of traffickers.
The agreement has made it easier to rescue and repatriate victims of trafficking, some of whom were previously treated as illegal immigrants.The total includes some women from West Bengal as well.“The increased numbers dovetail with increased migration from Bangladesh, and migrants are particularly vulnerable to traffickers,” said Priti Patkar, co-founder of Prerana.“Now, there is a clear process: we take their deposition, then hand them over to an NGO there, which takes responsibility for their rehabilitation,” a Mumbai police spokesman said.“This is a better outcome for the women.” This week, for the first time, a Bangladeshi trafficker was convicted on the strength of the victim’s testimony given over a video link from Dhaka, where she had been repatriated after her rescue from a brothel in Mumbai.Activists and lawyers say such depositions could help curb trafficking.