Sat. Aug 15th, 2020

Book Review of ‘Sold’ by Hazaran Baloch

4 min read

Book Name: Sold
Writer: Patricia mccormick
Published: 2006
Language: English
Page: 300
Review wrote by: Hazaran Baloch

I decide to think that it is all a nightmare.
Because if what is happening is real, it is unbearable. – Lakshmi, Sold

Lakshmi is a thirteen year old girl who lives with her family in a small hut in the mountains of Nepal. Lakshmi’s family is desperately poor but her life is full of pleasures, like raising her black and white speckled goat, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp.

Her life contains simple pleasures, but when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s step father sends her away to take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid working for a wealthy woman in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey to India.

When she arrives at “happiness house”, full of hope, she learns the unthinkable truth, she has been sold into prostitution.

An Old woman named  Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt, then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother’s Words- ” Simply to endure is to triumph”.

She forms friendship with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world.
Then the day comes when she must make a decision and she risks everything for a chance to reclaim her life.

An exceptional novel suitable for teens and adults, written in spare and evocative vignettes. This powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.

This novel took Patricia on a long journey from the mountains of Nepal to the brothels of India. It is written in honour of the young women she met there – women who had endured life in the sex trade; women who had triumphed.

Each year, nearly twelve thousand Nepali girls are sold by their families, intentionally or unwittingly, into a life of sexual slavery in the brothels of India. Worldwide, the U.S. State Department estimates that nearly half a million children are trafficked into the sex trade annually.

As part of her research for Sold, she traced the path that many Nepali girls have taken – from remote villages to the red-light districts of Kolkata. She also interviewed aid workers from India and Nepal who rescue girls from brothels, provide them with medical care and job training, and work to re-integrate them into society.

But most touching and inspiring for her was interviewing survivors themselves. Those young women have experienced what many people would describe as unspeakable horrors. But they spoke out – with great dignity.

” Some go door-to-door in the country’s most isolated villages to explain what really happens to girls who leave home with strangers promising good jobs. Some of them – even women who are ill with HIV – patrol the border between Nepal and India on the lookout for young girls travelling
without their parents. And some are facing their traffi ckers in court – where it is often their word against the fathers and brothers, husbands and uncles who sold them for as little as three hundred dollars. It is in their honour that this book was written ” Patricia MCormick.

If we go through An international perspective,
Human trafficking happens in every region of the world – even Australia. It’s impossible to say with certainty how many people are trafficked each year, but recent studies estimate there are 2.5 million trafficking victims worldwide at any given time that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.

Many within their own countries ratherthan across borders; and that of the 600,000–800,000 people traffi cked across international borders each year, about 80 percent are female and 50 percent are minors.

Many of these victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, however people are also trafficked for the purposes of illegal labour, domestic work, begging, marriage, illegal adoption, soldiering, and even camel jockeying.

About one-third of all trafficking in women and children occurs from and within the East Asia region. Trafficking is also growing at an alarming rate in Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

In Australia, it is estimated that 300 women are traffi cked into the country each year, and that up to 1,000 women are currently working as sex slaves, forced to pay off large debts before they are set free. They often come from South-East Asia and China, and sometimes from South Korea, Europe and Latin America.

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