Amoli: A New Documentary On Child Trafficking Reveals India’s Dirty Little Secret

Posted: May 5, 2018

Amoli, a new documentary on child trafficking is being released on 7th May. But what does child trafficking mean to us – the common people of India?

The teasers of the upcoming film Amoli:Priceless made by Jasmine and Avinash Roy give us some snippets of the chilling tales of child trafficking that is an everyday reality to many kids in India.

The film is about the search for a girl called Amoli who disappeared from a Siliguri tea plantation five years ago. Girl children have always been and are still being sold into sex work without a second thought, either due to the greed or need for money. And the rich customers completely abuse their power to satiate their lust and exert their dominance. It is truly terrifying!

Here are the teasers:

Teaser 1: Amoli – The Nation’s Ugliest Business

Teaser 2: Amoli – The Nation’s Ugliest Business

Teaser 3: Amoli – The Nation’s Ugliest Business

“All she gets is make-up, clothes and food.”

“When I was 13, my step-mother sold me to a pimp.”

“2 days later, I found out that my brother had sold me off.”

The above are direct quotes (translated into English) from the teasers, talking about children in sex work. One video also attaches price tags to different girls effectively showing us how these girls are reduced to mere items on a shopping list!

We can be morally outraged all we want after watching these videos, but aren’t we being hypocrites by pretending that this is shocking? Did we really not know that children being forced into sex work was a thing that happened in India? Or did we choose to ignore it on purpose until we came across a mention of child trafficking on social media that we could comment on? We actively choose to remain passive in real life.

For example, how many of us paid attention to the Nithari killings or have even heard about them? Personally, I had heard of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007 but not about the several children who had gone missing in Nithari, India in 2006. I knew nothing of their gruesome murders until very recently.

Now, it’s obviously very tragic that Madeleine disappeared. However, did the fact that I had heard about her and not about the Nithari killings have anything to do with her being a white girl who had parents who were physicians while the children of Nithari were just poor, Indian kids (and one of the suspects was rich)? The teasers of the documentary also say that affluent people are the ones who invest in this booming business. But why does nobody care? We can’t act like we don’t know that child trafficking exists.

How does one fight the problem if a significant number of criminals are protected by their wealth and influence? We have to stop having this image of criminals in our minds as ‘disgusting people who live far away from us’. They are as likely to be the influential people who walk amongst us.

Feeling powerless is no excuse to stay silent. If we all raise our voices then we can at least scare these perpetrators a little. And that’s still better than nothing. After all, for how much longer are we going to tolerate our children being dehumanized and treated like objects?

Perhaps watching this documentary on children being forced into sex work will finally knock some empathy into us and we will end our passivity.

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