Sonam is no longer on a dangerous trap - you became her safety net!
Early February 2023, we received intel that 14-year-old Sonam* from Darjeeling had gone missing. With the support of our local partner and local government officials, we were able to track her location with her mobile number.
Sonam was on a train to Bengaluru – straight into the hands of a trafficker – which is 2000 kilometres from her town in Darjeeling. Our team worked through the night, coordinating with the railway police and other key stakeholders and rescued her at the break of dawn in Bengaluru.
It was heartbreaking to learn that Sonam was blackmailed by someone whom she trusted with all her heart. Having lost her father at an early age and growing bitterness toward her mother, her social media friend Rohit* became her confidante and a glimmer of hope for a secure and peaceful life.
They grew close and exchanged intimate texts and videos. Rohit learnt all about Sonam’s full life and with risky videos in his possession, he threatened her to leave home. Sonam was helpless and hesitant, yet she neither wants to lose Rohit nor was stigmatised for her exchange with Rohit. Eventually, she left home. After the rescue, Sonam was placed in the state shelter home where our counsellors helped her to understand how traffickers are using social media to lure vulnerable young girls and the consequences of human trafficking and taught her coping strategies and techniques to manage fear, stress and trauma caused by the overall experience.
Vihaan handed over the evidence file, including the trafficker’s phone number, social media accounts and details shared by Sonam, and police officials are making all efforts to zero in on the trafficker.
Vihaan meets hundreds of trafficking victims with our extensive work and presence across India; different children, different women, different stories, but one common antagonist – social media. Your amazing heart to support VIHAAN and incredible faith in our work made it possible for
Sonam to escape the trap of trafficker, and now, Sonam is back home safely. Sonam's life has been transformed from being trapped and manipulated by a trafficker to receiving the wings to fly high!
*Names changed to protect identity. Images are for representational purposes only.