Trafficking of Tribal Girls And The Role of The Panchayati Raj System- A Study of Deprivation of Tribal Girls In Sundergarh District of Odisha

Dr. Manas Behera,


The PRI system has the potential to bring radical changes in the life of the masses living in rural areas, particularly the life of the deprived and marginalised like the tribals. But the functioning of the PRIs is not independent of the larger political, economic system of the state in which it operates. The trafficking of young tribal girls from the district of sundergarh in the last decade is a sorry tale of the failure of the development policies in the state. The functioning of the grassroots level institutions like Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat has failed to intervene in this regard. The policies of the state have created and sustained such an unequal and exploitative environment that the young tribal girls are easily trapped into the web of trafficking.  The PRI system in this tribal dominated district does not have enough democratic space for the marginalised tribal. A well-coordinated chain is in work from placement centres in Delhi to remote villages in sundergarh. The middlemen sell dreams to these innocent girls and sell these girls to placement agencies. When majority of the tribals face deprivation and marginalisation, they face difficulties in fulfilling their daily needs. The women are the worst victims as they are excluded first. The trafficking of the young tribal girls becomes easier as their parents are compelled to accept the offer of the middlemen. The tragedy is that the PRIs, particularly the Gram Panchayats, the civil society, police and government agencies treat it as normal migration in search of jobs and are insensitive to the difficulties and exploitations of these young girls. This paper tries to analyse the causes of trafficking of young girls and the role and potentialities of the PRIs in preventing it. It arrives at the understanding that the deeper the democratisation in the structure and processes of the PRIs, the more inclusive will be the development at the grassroots level.


Decentralisation, Democratisation, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Inclusive Development, Deprivation, Trafficking

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