Sikkim teen cheated by Nepali tout

April 24th, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, April 24 (IANS) An 18-year-old girl from India’s Sikkim state has suffered for over two years after being duped by a Nepali tout, a report said.
Januka Sharma, who dreamt of becoming rich by working in Lebanon, is now under sedation in a shelter in Kathmandu run by an NGO that works to prevent trafficking of women and children.

The girl was found in a distressed condition in Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport Wednesday and handed over to police, the Kantipur daily reported Friday.

Incoherent and mentally unstable, she was taken to the shelter for trafficking victims run by Maiti Nepal.

Initial queries by the NGO found that Sharma was lured with a job offer in Lebanon by a Nepali broker, Manisha Darnal, the report said.

The teen paid the woman Rs.25,000 for a job as a maid in Lebanon.

However, during her nearly two years’ stay in Lebanon, she was treated badly by her employer, who used to beat her up severely, the teen told the NGO.

“I decided to return after being thrashed regularly,” she said.

Police said they found $1,600 in her bag.

The NGO said that the girl was mentally unbalanced and had to be sedated.

It also said it had contacted her relatives after coming across their phone numbers in her diary.

Sharma was sent to Lebanon using the passport of a Nepali woman, Kumari Oli.

Every year, thousands of women from India and Nepal are lured away to the Gulf countries by unscrupulous brokers with offers of tempting jobs.

The women, who are mostly illiterate, are abused by their employers, often unpaid and starved and even sexually exploited.

Organised networks run through India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka sending duped women abroad on fake passports to destinations that are banned by the governments of their respective countries.

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