Foreign dream lands girls in trouble
PATIALA: Despite efforts by state government, the travel agent menace seems to be spreading like wildfire in Punjab. While earlier these agents were targeting young men, now, it seems they have shifted their focus on the girls as reports suggest more than 600 Punjabi women are living amidst pathetic conditions in different countries.
The Lok Bhalai Party has collected details of the girls 'trapped' on foreign shores and written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to help save girls these youngsters and also take strict action against the guilty travel agents.
"I went to Singapore after paying Rs 1.50 lakh to a female travel agent in Moga district. In Cyprus, my employers pushed me into prostitution. From there, I called LBP president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who contacted the Embassy," a girl from Jagraon narrated her chilling story, which included physical and mental abuse.
Another girl from Adampur, who has been brought back from Cyprus, alleged she was locked in a room for three months and her employer minted money by 'selling' her to customers.
"We have information that around 400 girls in Cyprus, 200 in Malaysia, and many others including Thailand and Ukraine are facing physical abuse after landing there. All were sent by travel agents of Punjab. We have written to PM," said Lok Bhalai Party chief Balwant Singh Ramoowalia.
In fact, the party claims of having rescued as many as 10 girls from the clutches of pimps in foreign countries. These young women had gone abroad through foreign agents after being promised jobs there. Talking to TOI, one of the 'victims' said whenever any girl tries to resist the pimps, she is physically assaulted.