“Shaadi ke jorde me saji Sarita zaalimon ke bistaron pe karwaten badalti hain,

Inhe marghat me koi kya jalaega. Inke andar roz marghaten jalti hain.”

Do you know that every 3 minutes an Indian girl is sold into sexual slavery? Do you have any idea that around 75 to 80 per cent of human trafficking across the globe is solely for sex and that more than 50 per cent of those trafficked are children? According to a government report submitted by the Ministry of Women & Child Development approximately 20,000 women and children were subject to human trafficking in 2016. This year also recorded an alarming 25 per cent increase in human trafficking in the country, with the number of trafficked women being increased to 22 per cent!

This time Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor has decided to take this matter in his hands and has shed light on this issue of women trafficking through a powerful poem at Tuning Forks in Mumbai for UnErase Poetry, a community that promotes and produces spoken word poetry in Hindi and English by creating online content.

“She was just 16 when she went missing from her own hometown. She reached the city, amidst slaughter. She never saw her family again. She was sold while still a daughter!”

The community collaborated with the actor, along with Ketto.org, Asia’s biggest crowd funding website, and My Choices Foundation, an NGO working towards the eradication of human trafficking in India, to create a campaign called #SoldBodies. This campaign aims to raise awareness about forced sex slavery and human trafficking in India and also raise funds for the same.

We see Kapoor standing on a dim lit stage, speaking into a mic with soul-stirring background music reading the poem #SoldBodies written by Mohammed Sadriwala, Navaldeep Singh, and Simar Singh. The poem is not just about the lecherous men and the sex workers. It in fact talks about the plight of women in a never-before talked about way. It emphasises that how quick we are to judge these women by their heavy makeup and bright sarees but never try to understand the reason why they chose the profession.

“Behind those shiny sarees and makeup so wild, you’ll see a compassionate mother desperate to earn for her child.” Now how many of us actually ever thought about the sex workers this way? Do we at all think of them like this?

So, next time when you cross that road where love is sold, stop. Stop and look at them. Not in the way everyone does. But look at them like a human would look at another human. Look at them and smile and let them know that they are not alone. That you care!

Also, Kunal Kapoor is one of the few Bollywood actors who has, time and again, stepped forward to speak up about such thought-provoking issues. We salute him for adding strength and essence to this cause.

Thank you, Kunal for this much-awaited poem!

You can watch the video here: