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How a video game about a 13-year-old trafficked girl is fighting the social evil

Sampath Putrevu
30th Nov 2017
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Trafficking is a form of exploitation which haunts the lives of thousands of children in India. With a video game, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation aims to make people empathise with the plight of a girl who is a victim of trafficking.

In 2015, 3,490 cases of child trafficking were registered, although there were only 55 convictions. Child trafficking is a horror that is haunting millions of children around the country right now — it is also the root cause of sexual slavery, bonded labour, and other forms of exploitation. With only 23,699 children liberated from trafficking between the years 2014 and 2016, the hope for eradicating this social evil is dismal.

With an objective to make people aware of exploitation and trafficking, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) has launched a game under the name 'Untrafficked', which revolves around a week in the life of a 13-year-old girl in which she is taken away from her parents and trafficked.

Find the game here.

In the game, the user plays an active role in the fight to save children from trafficking. At various points, the perspective shifts — the player is allowed to make decisions, assuming various roles such as that of the parents of the victim, her friends, their parents, a police officer, and even that of a woman who engages the victim in domestic labour. Putting the player in the shoes of those who enable the trafficking of a child and the child's subsequent suffering is a powerful way to inform people of their everyday choices and how they could affect a section of people to whom they might not have given much thought before.

The game offers no choices to the girl herself — the decisions that lead to her getting trafficked are not her own, but the result of the choices of those around her.

The game had a soft launch on October 14, 2017, in the midst of a Bharat Yatra against child sexual abuse and trafficking. Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi led this march with children, survivors of trafficking, labour, and slavery. The march culminated at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind gave the marchers his vision for New India, stating that India cannot celebrate 75 years of freedom in 2022 if we cannot address crimes against children.

The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation re-launched the game recently on November 20, 2017, asking users to pledge their support for the cause of children undergoing the horror of trafficking.

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