Shafiq wants to introduce us to trafficked women in Aterna, a village of a few hundred people. He says in Aterna alone there are 32 of so-called Paro women (a derogatory term for foreigners). Given a family size of at least five people, there is hardly a family without a Paro – as a purchased wife, maid and field laborer, often trafficked from poorer parts of India.
The situation these women are in is nothing short of slavery.
We arrive on muddy roads due to the unusual rains in this time of the year. Ten of the Paro await us in a semi-secret location in a hut in the village. They are eager to share their experiences.
They talk of hard labor, of beatings and of constant abuse. “Even the village children talk to us like dogs,” they say.