"I was Bought for 50,000 Rupees": India's Trafficked Brides

Domestic SlaveryForced Marriage

Tahmina was just 13 when her own sister sold her into marriage with a man 30 years her senior. The pricetag? 50,000 rupees (£557).

Tahmina had travelled by bus, train, and car with her sister and brother-in-law, thinking they were heading to Delhi. Instead, she was taken to a remote village in Haryana and sold into marriage.

“They took me to Haryana and kept me in a room. Strange men were coming to see me and offering money and my own sister was outside that room knowing what was going to happen to me,” she said.

With the help of Empower People, an anti-trafficking charity, Tahmina managed to escape and has been reunited with her mother. Yet thousands of other Indian girls continue to be trafficked into forced marriages.

The Guardian reports:

Tahmina escaped, but across north-west India, thousands of other women and girls are lost to their families and trapped in lives of sexual and domestic slavery as paros – meaning those who have been purchased or sold.

For centuries, bride trafficking has been a booming business in the states of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan in north India. There is no official government data on the numbers who have fallen victim to trafficking rings, but it is believed that hundreds of thousands of women and girls, mainly from Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand or Bihar, have been sold into marriage.

Activists believe the scale of bride trafficking is still not properly understood. A door-to-door survey by Empower People found 1,352 trafficked wives living with their buyers in 85 villages in north India in 2014.

Sanjida is one woman who has lived as a paro for 15 years in the Mewat district of Haryana. She left her home in Assam after being promised a job as a babysitter in Delhi. Instead, she was taken to Haryana and sold to her now husband for 10,000 rupees.

Her husband, Mubin, says he purchased Sanjida because he could not find a local woman to marry. “Poor men like us, who don’t have much land, have a lot of difficulty in finding a wife here,” he said.

Paros often face being disowned by the family if they become widows and even those women who manage to escape find that they are stigmatized if they return home.

Tahmina’s own father refused to accept her back into the house when she returned to Assam due to the shame of his daughter being a paro. Tahmina now lives with her grandmother.

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NazrulPauletteCarlosNinaMirta Lidia Yantorno Recent comment authors
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Government by the people, for the people & of the people. If the social media or NGO can take action against all slavery, then why not gov’t take action immidiately punishment based on the nature of slavery against humanity.


Los sujetos que hacen tales nefastas acciones NO merecen pertenecer a la especie que llamamos humana, y ni siquiera al reino animal, disculpen.

Mirta Lidia Yantorno
Mirta Lidia Yantorno

No puedo comprender, cómo se siguen usando estas prácticas ancestrales, cuanta violencia,nadie tiene derecho de esclavizar a nadie. Sólo por el amor será salvo el hombre, ojalá entiendan que lo material es efímero.


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Como yo lo veo, más que las practicas ancestrales es violencia contra la mujer. Mujer sigue siendo deshumanizada: no tiene ni voz ni voto, ni opinión. La pueden vender, matar si ama a hombre que no pertenece a su tribu, la pueden violar y matar y el juez de la India puede luego decir: No siempre se encuentran los criminales. En Libia, Irán y otros países musulmanas las mujeres les matan lanzando les pierdas. En África y países musulmanas: operan para cortar una parte del órgano sexual…

Mirta Lidia Yantorno
Mirta Lidia Yantorno

No puedo comprender,cómo se siguen usando estas prácticas ancestrales,
cuánta violencia,cuando van a comprender que lo material es efímero,nadie tiene derecho de esclavizar a nadie. Sólo por el amor será salvo el hombre,ojalá lo
lleguen a entender.


Someone else’s life is not a matter of honour and money. And the lives of young women for the entertainment of older men is certainly not a matter for the sister. I know what I would do with the sister if I got her alone. Arranged marriage is fine if it is consensual but young women are not meal tickets for other members of the family. Not ever!!!