Ambika Pandit-NEW DELHI: A 19-year-old tribal girl from West Bengal, employed as a domestic help in upscale Meera Bagh in west Delhi for nearly seven years, send an SOS over the weekend to her 17-year-old sister working in a Greater Kailash household. Employed since the age of 12, the elder sister threatened to take her life as she desperately wanted to return home. She was finally rescued with the help of the younger sibling in a joint operation by Delhi Police, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and NGO Shakti Vahini.
The rescue operation has yet again brought to the fore a story of how young girls from remote tribal belts are ending in the capital as low wage earning domestic helps in upper middle class and rich households.
The younger sibling came to work three years after her sister to Delhi. Both girls were brought by an agent called Sanjay Mandal who promised their father that they would be employed and he would get a regular income.
The 17-year-old told TOI that her elder sister in her call threatened to commit suicide if their father did not come soon to take her back home. In the statement recorded by Delhi Police, in the presence of counselors from DCW and Shakti Vahini activists, the girl alleged that her father had not come for the last one year and had stopped speaking to her on phone, too.
She had bought a mobile phone from the little money saved from her salary to reach out to her sister. The younger sister, with the support of her employers, was able to lead the rescue team to the Meera Bagh residence. “The 19-year-old girl has for now been kept in a shelter home till her father is contacted and the girl rehabilitated to safety,” said Rishikant of Shakti Vahini.