Trafficking innocent children and women and girls for ulterior motifs and greed is a felony of higher degree. It is as devious as heinous crime. India being a land of diversity and overcrowded at all metro cities is an easy target for human traffickers. Girls and children are abducted or trapped and then sent to abroad for various works like beggary, sex work, slavery, drug business, pleasure and much more. Once a soul is trapped in the web of trafficking consider it will only be liberated with death. Sadly it is seen that one cares for it until one is confronted with it.
A lot can be discussed and known through literature that is mostly based on personal hardship and diaries and stories. The novel Trafficked Innocence by Sandesh Raj is one such good source in the form of a fictional novel that doles out the raw and first-hand coverage on human trafficking. Let’s delve into the story for some uncovering. The story is of one father named Abhishek. One fateful day, his just born Munni (daughter) is being kidnapped at the railway station. By the time family realizes, it was too late to respond. Police and others go clueless. What next? The distraught father takes the ordeal in his hand. He begins the search for his innocent daughter. He first goes to Kolkata, Delhi, and finally lands in Mumbai according to the internal sources. All these cities houses big brothels of the country.
He keeps the search continues. He stumbles upon his daughter at few times but could not get to the final stage due to various obstacles. The novel on one side delves deep into the grim basics of brothels and child slavery and human trafficking, on the other hand the book portrays the pain of a father running here and there for his daughter. He lives around the brothels for personal benefit but the way he comes across prostitutes is heartbreaking. Every person stuck in the web of trafficking has its own story to narrate…they are either forced to do heinous work or they are compelled by poverty and responsibilities.
Abhishek lives in Mumbai for a longer time. He drives a cab to search his daughter. It is Mumbai where he comes across many characters that are the miserable epitomes of human trafficking. This trafficking is not so violent, in fact it also clutches people emotionally and indirectly. As you read the stories of Jamuna Bai and Smita – you will find the indirect connection of these people with prostitution but more or less they are caught in the web of circumstances. The story of Fanta is a perfect example of child slavery. Whether Abhishek is able to find his daughter or not, that is another story, but you will find yourself laced with the lives of people that are being driven by human trafficking. The novel is well-written and lifts the blinds from the silhouettes of the society that continues to ignore the problem of human trafficking. You must read this novel to know the fate of many affected by the hazardous human trafficking.
Our View on the Cover:
As dark as the theme of the novel. It is a meaningful cover that shows that someone is on the way to find or search something. It indicates a difficult destination. It is way dark yet captivating cover. Apt to the title and theme of the book.
The novel is full of many characters right since the beginning. It was mandatory as a novel against human trafficking needs to have stories of other’s plight and misery. From the protagonist’s home to Kolkata to Delhi to Mumbai, there are many sub characters. Imminent ones are Rupa, Fanta, Smita, and Bhau and Anna. There are more positive characters than the villains like Anna and Bhau. But the protagonist Abhishek is a sort of lonely man. He is hopeful yet distraught. The way he changes with circumstances and time is worth capturing. In fact a father can go to any extent to protect his children.
Our Final Verdict:
With a strong storyline and intriguing characters, the novel puts all efforts to highlight the underbelly of human trafficking. It entertains but also sends strong message for the society that overlooks the issues of human trafficking, child slavery, beggary, sex workers position and much more. It is a good novel with solid stories inside of main to auxiliary characters. In the end, we say it is a relevant novel – highly readable.
|The Asian Review Rating||8 out of 10|