Tahmina, 13, recounts how she was sold by her elder sister to a man nearly 30 years her senior. She is one of the lucky ones, rescued by an anti-trafficking charity, but her story is echoed across India, where hundreds of thousands of women and girls are forced into sexual and domestic slavery
Pul has travelled 2,000km from her home in Assam, north-east India, to a small government-run shelter in another state where her daughter is waiting. Weeping, she reaches out and clutches 13-year-old Tahmina* to her. She had thought she would never see her again.
Six weeks previously, Tahmina had left her home with her elder sister and brother-in-law. She thought they were going to Delhi. Instead, she was taken to a remote village in Haryana and sold into marriage with a man almost 30 years older than her.
They wanted me to obey them, and if I objected they always had the same words for me: ‘We own you because we bought you’