Disclaimer: The below-mentioned story was interviewed by RJ Malishka from RED FM. The below writing are my own words of translation from the interview. Also, in some parts, I have used my own imagination basis on the narration of Muskan’s recorded interview.
While we have heard so many struggling stories specially in the big cities like Delhi and Mumbai, some of these stories are inspirational that motivate us to acknowledge the privilege of what we have got which otherwise go unnoticed, at the same time certain stories are so bone chilling that push our conscious of standing up and supporting a cause that really matters to the society that we live within.
Thankfully, off-late we have seen social media playing a vital role in creating awareness and I can’t praise enough once such huge initiatives by a popular radio station of Mumbai RED FM Morning No -1 Malishka.
Kudos to the queen of radio Malishka for her popular work and more importantly the extra miles that she takes to highlight the causes that matter to Mumbaikars, the courage that appeals Mumbaikars to participate for a better and safer Mumbai.
Inspired by her movement of Bajao for a cause (Play for a reason), I am just making a small effort to share this particular story with all of you, my friends, social media connections that may inspire others to take a pause and look around for such causes that can be greatly benefited with your little participation for the society that you live in.
This week, we have heard the story of Muskan.A normal village girl from Gujrat who ended up being a victim of sex trafficking. Such an irony that ideally the name Muskan literally means smile but the story of Muskan is so heartbreaking that in her interview to Malishka she actually said, that she doesn’t remember when was the last time she laughed from the core of her heart.
At the age of 14 in Ahmedabad, Muskan was forced to get married to a man who was twice of her age. He was a rag picker and was a drinker. The little girl before she could realise about the shift that her life was taking to, became the mother of a child within the first year of her marriage and over the next 4 years, Muskan got 4 kids.
Furthermore, her luck had some fresh challenges on her way that suddenly her husband passed away, taking that small portion of confidence of support for Muskan along with him.
Never the less, she thought in this grave situation, her parents will be a pillar of support for her, afte all they are her parents. However, the day she landed at her parent’s she got to learn from her so-called parents that “ Sasural see ladki ki sirf arthi uthi hai” ( only the dead body for cremation departs from the in-laws house of a girl) and hence she must leave her parent’s house immediately with her 4 little children.
Poor Muskan as she narrated the story to Malishka with her weeping voice, at that very moment she felt like that her parent have pulled the rug under her feet. Muskan had no clue what she needed to do, where to go except crying but that too seemed to be difficult as the crying of her children started louder.
Fast- forward ….
One of her friends suggested a possible job in a promised land of Mumbai, which will take care of her shelter as well as the children. A hope of ray enlighten Muskan’s eyes as in the past few days this was the only friend who at least cared to ask about her children and there was nothing more Muskan could ask for
The Journey to Mumbai
So, Muskan came along with her 4 children to Mumbai and all the way she was thanking her friend who was also accompanying her to her new workplace that would offer a promising future. They reached to a small room of a chawl after passing by the narrow lanes.
Her friend introduced her to a middle aged lady who was known as sethani, her new employer. Muskan was asked to take some rest because of the overnight journey and was taken to a small room which was still good enough for her.
When she woke up at 4 in the evening, she was surprised to see all the other ladies of that Chawl (10-15) were getting ready, doing make ups for something. Out of curiosity, she asked someone if they were going out somewhere, what was the occasion?
The reply that she got once again shocked her from top to bottom. “Itni Bholi na Ban, dhande ka time sajenge nahi toh kaun puchega” (Don’t be so innocent, if you don’t make up at the time of business, who is going to ask for you).
The friend was gone leaving Muskan in a world behind that she had never dreamt in her wildest dream. Muskan’s friend sold her in the red light area for Rs 50, 000 in Kamathipura.
For the first 2 days, Muskan refused to give herself in the flesh trading business. However, her zeal lost when she saw no other way to feed her 4 children if not obliged to her Sethani the new employer.
So, that was one heartbreaking story and there are many more stories like that which is now being shared by Malishka. The larger cause of this initiative is so great that I was compelled to share it with all of you.
Key take away
No one can re-wind the time or the sufferings that such victims have gone through, however with the growing awareness, pledged of help from us , we can certainly ensure that their children can look forward to a life of freedom with far better opportunities out of the dark world.
The bigger cause initiative
RED FM has joined the NGO called Apne Aap Women’s collective (aawc) who is working to provide the better education for the children of these socially deprived sex workers.