M Meharunnisa, a survivor leader and state convener of Vimukthi, a state level forum for sex workers and survivors of human trafficking said: ”Traffickers and brothel owners routinely take loans and conduct similar financial transactions in the names of the survivors /sex-workers under their control. When those survivors break free and begin to rebuild their lives, they often find that their credit has completely destroyed their lives as a result of their traffickers’ schemes. Many victims are now letting their kids enter sex work to clear debts which is further adding huge burden.”
“We interacted with 600 victims and they were asking for stringent for protection of debtors and human trafficking victims. Government should enforce the money lending act,” said representatives of Tafteesh.
K Pushpa, a trafficking victim from Vijayawada,” said: “My husband trafficked me for want of money to repay his loans to money lenders. I have been a victim in the hands of my husband, money lenders, brothel owners, managers, pimps and even my parents who have benefitted from my body. I have pleaded with police for help but they never took action against moneylenders. I’m still working hard to repay all these loans,” Pushpa added.
Another trafficking victim, Bhanu Priya from Chirala, said: “Before Covid-19, I used to survive as a sex worker. Now I am facing huge financial difficulties. My son fell sick and I borrowed Rs. 60,000 from a moneylender at an interest of 7% per month. He is harassing me for interest and forcing me to do sex work for repaying his loan.”