New Delhi, Jun 27 UNI | 27 days ago

Even as human trafficking remains a major curse in this country as in the rest of the world, the conviction rate as against the cases filed is a mere 0.6 per cent.

And though an American report claims that 15 per cent of the cases relating to human slavery are solved every year, in India there is unfortunately very little sympathy or support for those who are fighting against human slavery often at the cost of their lives.

According to Kailash Satyarthi of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, 'human memory is very short. We are hurt but we very quickly forget'.He was speaking at the preview film screening of 'Not my life', a film on child abuse and trafficking, widely acclaimed by Oscar nominee film maker Robert Bilheimer who said it could signal the start of a global movement.

'Indian children go missing in India every eight minutes', said Satyarthi, one of the prominent human rights activists interviewed in the film.

'These children become slaves. They work in factories and in brothels, and they number in millions.' He called for an 'End Child Slavery Week' to be held globally from 20 November. The preview meet yesterday was also addressed by Doordarshan Director General Tripurari Sharan, eminent filmmaker Mike Pandey, Mr K B Kachru of Carlson Family Foundation, and Ms Sumitra Mishra of iPartner India.

Doordarshan will telecast the 56-minute documentary dubbed in Hindi film in its international premiere on 29 June at 9.30 pm.

Speaking on the occasion, Doordarshan Director General Tripurari Sharan said Doordarshan had joined the endeavour to take the film to the remotest corners of the country and overseas so that it can create the right kind of impact about the horrors of human trafficking. He said only a public service broadcaster could do this kind of work.

Mike Pandey of Riverbank Studios, who co-produced the film, said the film emphasised 'the urgent need for a nationwide collective effort at all levels if we want slavery to end. This alone will ensure a secure future for our children and a life without fear'. He said the problem existed in at least 190 countries and the film had attempted to cover some of these including India.

Ms Mishra of iPartner India, one of the NGOs spearheading the nationwide awareness campaign being launched with the DD telecast of 'Not My Life', said the film was a grim reminder that 'we are not doing enough'. She said an amount of Rs 100 million had been raised to fight this menace but had resulted in saving around 20,000 human slaves in the last five years.

In a message sent on the occasion, filmmaker Robert Billheimer said: 'This project was, and is, a labor of love. We kept asking, who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves? In the end we felt that making Not My Life was not only our job, but our mission, because far too much silence still surrounds this issue.'

India is widely recognized as having the world's largest number of trafficking and slavery victims, many of whom are children. Exploitation and slavery in India includes sex trafficking, and multiple forms of slave labour. But India is by no means alone as a country where children, women, and men are trafficked within, or across, a nation's borders.

'Not My Life 'is the first film to depict the cruel and dehumanizing practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global scale. It takes viewers into a world where millions of children are exploited, every day, through an astonishing array of practices including forced labor, domestic servitude, begging, sex tourism, sexual violence, and child soldiering.

(Posted on 27-06-2014)