In West Bengal, shut tea gardens force girls to prostitution

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e shutting of several tea estates in north Bengal has forced many young girls – aged between 16 and 18 – into prostitution in order to feed their families. With no income coming from the tea estates, many of them have reportedly dropped out of school to become sex workers and earn money.

Although the state government is providing rice at two rupees a kilo, the assistance is proving to be woefully inadequate. “How long can we survive on government’s mercy? We need many more things to survive than just rice,” said a girl who did not want to be identified. “Now at least my family can have food everyday, we have good clothes to wear and even have some spare money.”

 The unfortunate situation is acknowledged by tea workers union’s RSP leader Gopal Pradhan. “We are ashamed but we are helpless. This is a shame,”

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