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Video on child prostitution goes viral

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MUMBAI: The truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction. So strange that often society chooses to look the other way despite knowing it.

For instance, how many of us know that over 1.26 lakh cases of child trafficking were registered in India during 2011-12 or the fact that nearly forty girls under the age of fifteen are forced into prostitution every day in this country?

And so we have a new video uploaded to YouTube by Delhi-based NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), in collaboration with PaapiPet Pictures, which sends out a clear message to people, urging them not to ignore the inhuman things happening to innocent children around them.  

Watch the video: #dontlookaway

Aptly titled ‘Don’t look away’, the video, brings to the fore the grim reality of the flesh trade, and has gone viral, garnering a staggering 595,921 views within days of being uploaded.

‘Don’t look away’ rolls with a little girl, nicely dressed, standing by a busy road. The street is dark with just the traffic lights; evidently, it’s late in the evening. An old tailor eyes the girl from his shop across the street even as she fidgets, throwing nervous glances all around.



While viewers are left guessing what next, she simply crosses the road and walks towards a car parked at the corner. She turns back to look at the old tailor and he just nods. The girl enters the car and the camera pans to the middle-aged man at the driving seat. An evil smile on his face, he tries to give her a chocolate which she isn’t too keen about receiving. The man then keeps the chocolate on her thighs... and his hands follow suit...



BBA hopes that after watching this video, viewers won’t look away the next time they see something like this. According to Rajesh Sengar of BBA, the film is but a small effort to send across a message of righteousness. “One shouldn’t look away. In the last 33 years that we have been working for the cause, we have rescued 82,000 kids,” says he.



The video is directed by Jaydeep Sarkar, who drew inspiration from two different personal experiences. The first instance, which he regrets he ignored which happened while he was stuck in a traffic jam at the Andheri highway. “I saw a little girl crossing the road, her eyes seeking help and still, I couldn’t do anything as I was stuck in traffic and helpless. Those eyes kept haunting me for days,” he recalls.



The second incident – something a close relative experienced - which moved him deeply. “This couple had rescued a small girl in her early teenage years from the clutch of the sex business. They anticipated that something really wrong was cooking up in their neighbour’s house and when they dug deep, it was this horrific case that they discovered,” says Sarkar, who discovered while making the film that people don’t really want to be associated with such murky issues.



Sarkar says they struggled even with finding a good song for the video as no music composer worth his melody wanted to be associated with a video on child-trafficking. “However, my producer Rheyan Johari made me listen to a song, These Streets by Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, which not just touched my heart but also reflected the theme of the movie. We wrote to Warner Music, London that released the album and we soon got a go-ahead,” says Sarkar, concluding on the note the cause would find supporters not just in India but abroad as well.

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