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But she had to give it all up for an arranged marriage.
KHS Shattered Dreams Program 2019

Economic globalization has increased trafficking of women from poorer countries to wealthier countries. Women are trafficked legally or illegally, and in most cases they end up in forced work or prostitution. The United Nations estimates that around four million people are being trafficked each year globally, and criminal groups gain thus large profits. Human trafficking is a form of organized crime, where the majority of traffickers are linked to Mafia or other international criminal groups.

To combat this trafficking, the United Nations has proposed the New Convention on transnational organized crime in December , later known as the Protocol on the Trafficking of Human Beings. One afternoon Karina, a young women from Ukraine, was reading an advertisement for a job in Greece as a shop assistant.

This adventurous prospect of working in an EU country appealed to her and so she applied for this position. It was not a dream what awaited her but a nightmare. On the day Karina was supposed to travel, she met other women who were all waiting the same organizers who were supposed to take them to Greece. Instead of Greece, Karina found herself in Bosnia along with other women, some younger and some of her age.

The women were transported from one car to another, crossing unknown territories until they arrived at a club. Soon after the women were drugged, sold and forced into prostitution and if they did not cooperate they would be sold again to more dangerous owners. They were not only being kept in filthy rooms with inadequate facilities, but were exposed to sexually transmitted diseases and afflicted with grave injuries.

Trafficking is strongly associated with prostitution. The demand for immigration has opened up new ventures for those who were ready to seize the opportunity to fill this gap and gain profit. Furthermore, trafficking is a criminal act violating human rights and specifically third and fourth article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

To combat the problem of trafficking, on the 15th of November the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, was adopted and opened for signature. Exploitation shall include at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Women and young girls are taken and sold out of their countries and kept in slavery.

Millions of women and girls are trafficked every year for the aims of sexual exploitation. In this area, there seems to be incentives from both the organizers and the people who would want to leave their countries. The industry of human trafficking is fast becoming larger than the drug industry, as it has great demand in all parts of the globe. But every night he held his head in his hands in a pokey, loveless room, and wept. But the man who had made criminals quiver in Bombay gritted his teeth and bore his pain.

He worked a string of dead-end jobs for impossible hours; he laid aside his bitterness and lived for the future; he saved obsessively. And by November of he was able to send Vijaya her one-way Bombay-Toronto ticket. Through the thick glass wall of the customs hall at the airport in Toronto, Venu Thampi watched Vijaya float toward him. She was a knockout. He had forgotten how beautiful she was. The red and gold dazzled him. The past six months of despair slipped off him like snakeskin.

He felt as though he were a groom again, that good times were starting to roll again. He plays the night of her arrival over and over again in his mind. For a while the young, handsome Thampis played at keeping house and were happier than they had ever been. Sure, the husband had to leave for work very early every morning, but they had all evening, every evening. All day the wife cooked. He took her to shopping malls and loved to watch her spend his money.

She bought herself Canadian clothes. In pants and sweaters she looked like a movie star. On weekends they splurged on fancy meals at French restaurants. He bought her flowers. He took her to the movies. He arranged vacations in New York and Washington. On her birthdays he threw her surprise parties. In winter they took skiing lessons. The first months could not have been happier. Then Vijaya became restless. The Price is Right lost its charm. She had too much time to experiment with recipes. Keen to improve herself, Vijaya enrolled in secretarial courses.

Indian newlyweds' dreams shattered in Christchurch

She was an excellent student, better than most others in the class, and she was competitive. After dinner she would ask her husband to dictate letters so she could work on her shorthand. Her excellence scared her. When she was through with the courses, she felt she had to decide between looking for a job and having a baby. The Thampis decided on having the baby.

Shattered Dreams (White Dusk)

Their daughter, Nisha, was born in His was a high-pressure, but satisfying, job. A diligent provider, he put in 10and hour shifts while Vijaya looked after the baby and the home. She began in circulation, taking calls, sending out the route men. She found a good babysitter. She loved her job at the Star; it fulfilled her in new ways. After a few months she enrolled in management courses; soon she was brought into the personnel offices as an assistant.

She had been in Canada five years and had already become a superwoman. She used to be the traditional, submissive, obedient Indian girl, but then she blossomed. She started to believe in herself. Her self-confidence gave me great satisfaction.

Never in front of Nisha. But we quarrelled. But we never let a quarrel last through a Saturday. In her sharp clothes, Vijaya attracted attention, not all of it wholesome. One evening, on her way home from work, she got off the bus and was whistled at by cruising teenagers. The whistling and catcalling frightened her, and she burst into tears. After that incident, Vern always met her at the bus stop, and when he was travelling, he arranged with a friend to meet her and drive her home.

In , before Vijaya Thampi made an impulsive decision to visit her parents, the Thampis were doing very well. Their double income was go-. Then, out of the blue, Vijaya made up her mind to go by herself to India for four or five weeks. She wanted to confront her parents, force them to see how far she had come in life, and she wanted to make peace with them. Thampi tried his best to talk her into delaying the trip for a year or a year and a half. But Vijaya Thampi, no longer the meek, shy girl she used to be, would not listen.

I have my own savings. The spiritedness hardened into stubbornness.

Companion Stories & New Novels for Shattered Dreams

The Thampis quarrelled long and hard over her going. Finally, Thampi gave in. Her new departure date was June 22, another Saturday. Indian shops and restaurants on Gerrard Street. No Indian-born Canadian goes back to the home town without bringing a Samsonite bag filled with gifts. People have been known to stuff suitcases with personal computers, color televisions and VCRs, as well as small items like transistor radios, steam irons, blenders, hair driers, pocket calculators, watches, gold jewelry and, of course, Japanese chiffon saris.

Vijaya Thampi went into a frenzy of gift buying. She bought for all her relatives. She bought for all the servants. She bought for all the children of all the servants. Friends watched in awe as she shopped. The Ramaswamys, who had once loaned the Thampis their new Parisienne so they could vacation at Daytona Beach, told her husband to reconsider and help her with her shopping on weekends. But Vern Thampi remained hurt and angry.

She has enough money. She can do what she wants.

His pigheadedness in their last weeks together would bewilder him later. Every Thursday we used to buy something for ourselves and something for Nishi.


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The brother brought along his movie camera. Thampi Sr. He got the camera rolling. He caught the family walking around the big, comfortable house, sprawling on the expensive sofa, cooking in the hi-tech kitchen. Vijaya made a batch of chapati bread while the camera rolled. Then she looked straight into the camera and spoke for almost half an hour. That night the Thampi brothers and their families had their dinner outdoors. The dinner, too, is on film. He has the film now. At least he has that film.

He told Vijaya that they were to meet with the principal of a private school for Nisha, but instead he whisked her off to an expensive French restaurant. When she realized that he had planned a special night for their 10th anniversary, she hugged him tightly. On Saturday, June 22, Vijaya dressed all in white for the trip to Bombay. Vern Thampi was stunned by her beauty and elegance. On the way to the airport to drop her off, he lost his way.

She laughed at him. The area around the Air-India counter at the airport was loud with giggling children. Nisha and her two cousins raced each other.