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Everything you need to know about Fatima, a stunning documentary on human trafficking.

Sourabh Kanti Datta’s documentary Fatima, about the rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked sex workers, was exhibited at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The film tells the story of the eponymous Fatima Khatun, who was married to a pimp at the age of nine and became a mother at the age of twelve. Fatima now fights to free the girls trafficked into the red-light areas of Forbesganj on the Indo-Nepal border, according to a release from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Fatima Khatun, speaking during the “IFFI Table Talks” event, fought back tears as she described her story of betrayal by close family members at a young age. She described her efforts to discover the inner courage to oppose intergenerational prostitution and the pimping of girls in her nomadic group, which was formerly labelled as criminals under the 1871 Criminal Tribes Act. “”I’m also teary-eyed from feeling helpless, frustrated, and unloved, but I have to hold back my tears only to keep the morale of the girls I’m trying to save up,” Fatima Khatun said. She talked about her escape from the red-light area in 2007 and the continued battle to free the women since then.
“My fight is against the system and the deeply ingrained nexus of pimps, family members, and corrupt authorities that keep the practise alive in the region,” Fatima explained. She went on to say that the tireless conditioning of mothers with the support of non-governmental organisations was critical in enabling them to act as shields, safeguarding their daughters from such an atrocious crime.”I have to notify the police and the management, and I typically take the first hit during several raids.” “However, I am glad that the girls I saved – some HIV+ patients and cancer survivors – are now enjoying respectable lives, working in professions of their choosing, and supporting their families,” Fatima Khatun continued.
Director Sourabh Kanti Datta spoke about losing 1.5 years due to the lockdown and the additional expenditures, but was pleased that his picture could be shown at a festival like IFFI.
“I didn’t hire an actor because it would turn it into a play based on genuine events rather than the documentary I intended to film,” Sourabh explained. Power dynamics in front of a camera are different than in courts or police stations, and Fatima has demonstrated exceptional fortitude in narrating her ordeal on video, he continued. “I am grateful to Fatima for opening my eyes to that world,” Sourabh continued.
The director-actor team extended appreciation to several NGOs and media outlets for providing thoughts and leads on the issue.”I am glad to have empowered many girls to make her own life choices – and I am grateful for the media’s support,” Fatima said.
Sourabh Datta also expressed hope that those in influential positions in legal and political circles would see their film and support activists like Fatima.

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