Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fiends on the prowl

A TSI sting operation finds how paedophilia has turned into a thriving business in Delhi, NCR and Mumbai. Taking advantage of kids’ poverty and craze for brands and gadgets, middlemen get rich by supplying minor boys and girls to satiate the desire of sick, rich men, many of them NRIs and foreigners. By Abhishek Kumar and Neeraj Rajput

Dutch national Will Heum’s arrest in Chennai for having sex with minors and uploading pornographic pictures on the Internet came as an isolated shock to the nation. But a TSI investigation finds out that paedophilia is rampant in India’s cities. The number of sick and rich individuals who want to have sex with minors is large enough to sustain a thriving business involving middlemen and child sex workers. So if any of you thought paedophilia was a western malaise that would not affect India, you could not be more mistaken.

Children are the easiest to be taken advantage of. Poverty as well as their desire to own the latest gadget make them vulnerable to overtures of middlemen. Most kids, whom the TSI team met, had told their parents that they were going for study or dance lessons. To explore more, the TSI special investigative team visited Faridabad, Noida, Delhi, Mumbai and Goa many times. What was astounding was that despite being minors, these kids spoke and reasoned like adults, obviously trained by the pimps who brought them along. Another startling fact is that not only kids from poor and needy families are being trapped in this racket. Kids from rich or well-to-do families are also lured into the trap.

We got lead about Ansh, a pimp in Noida. One of us posed as an Australian NRI on the phone and he agreed to meet us. The next day, we met Ansh at a coffee outlet in Noida market. We reached much before time, eager to find out who all accompanied him. There were two more people, one of them a girl. When we met him, a kid sitting next to him greeted us. He said he was 14 years old, but looked younger. The smartly dressed kid looked like from a well-to-do family. The kid said his father was a big officer in Indian Railways. He was so confident that we felt we were not talking to a child but a professional.

TSI-What work do you do?
Boy-I am a student.

TSI - Where do you study?
Boy-I am in the XIIth standard

TSI-What is your age?
Boy-14 yrs

TSI- But you don’t appear 14. Incase you are wondering where I got your number from, I saw an ad in the newspaper and picked it up.
Ansh-Yes. We have advertised many times in newspapers.

TSI-What do you advertise for?
Ansh-For body massage

We could feel that Ansh did not appreciate us having a long conversation with the boy. But since we don’t want to take them to a hotel or any other place, we need all our answers then and there. It’s an uncomfortable situation; but we press on. We said we were surprised that kids were so easily available here in India too. The boy immediately replied that India was getting rapidly westernised and you get to find such kids in virtually every corner of the country. He added he wanted money so that he could buy a Yamaha Fazer motorcycle. Asked if he would feel awkward later, he categorically said no.
Boy-You are from Australia?

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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