Neeta and Geeta are two sisters. One of them is 15 while the other is 17. Both of them work at a fireworks factory. Despite the danger involved, the hunger in their stomachs forces them to keep working. They don’t get proper wages for this work. Often the owner makes them work much more that the paltry wages they are given. One day they meet another girl named Parul there. They quickly become close friends and decide to take a trip together to Parul’s sister-in-law in Kolkata’s Sealdah area. They are welcomed by her with a plate of cakes and cold water. The rest is all hazy.

After regaining consciousness, Neeta discovered that they had been trafficked, there is no sign of Geeta. She found herself locked inside a room in a trafficking area in Pune. Unknown to Neeta, Geeta had been kept in a nearby room. Their fortunes opened up when a police raid took place there. Geeta was rescued first who later led the police to her sister. They stayed in a Home in South 24 Parganas upon their return and then finally went home.

They had not studied too far. Compelled to face the insults of the neighbours, they also went back to the fireworks factory. But, the High Court had ordered all such factories to be closed. The owner had been running his business illegally. The police raided the place and confiscated many banned fireworks leading to huge losses. As a result, they are now deprived even of their wages.

We have met a number of such Neetas and Geetas in our various experiences. Today is Diwali, the festival of lights. A lot of us know this day to be Children’s Day as well. However, this light seems to have disappeared from the lives of these young girls. There is a darkness which surrounds our lamps which is engulfing the lives of these girls. We, the representatives of Goranbose Gram Bikash Kendra, are trying to give back these girls their childhood. Let these tender faces light up with the joy they deserve.

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