Christians reach out to prostitutes and oppressed in India

By May 21, 2007

India (MNN) — According to statistics, India has 5.7 million people with HIV/AIDS. By 2010 the infection rate could be 10 million. Much of the disease is being fueled by the prostitution industry.

Partners International is helping India believers address these issues. Partners is helping pray and resource an organization called "Oasis India." The City Director for Mumbai is Vasu Vittal. "India has one million prostitutes, with 500,000 of them in Mumbai. Over 60 percent of them are HIV positive. National AIDS control organization says 15 percent of Indian men visit prostitutes."

That's an incredible problem which can only be addressed by a heart change. Vittal says they're doing their part by reaching out to "women and minor girls rescued from prostitution and human trafficking, and people with HIV/AIDS, particularly women and children — children on three streets."

Vittal says human trafficking is a huge problem. "The U.N. Ordinance against drugs and crimes says trafficking is the second largest crime next to drugs. Trafficking and HIV seem to kind of fuel each other. And what's happening is women and children are the ones who are affected."

Oasis isn't reaching out to them in a vacuum. "We partner with the churches and work along-side the church to provide vocational training, education, health care, counseling, and most of all share the love of God with them."

Partners International is key to helping Oasis. "They mobilize a lot of prayer support. They also raise money to help us in our operations. And that's been over a five year period."

Their work is primarily in the cities of Bombay, Bangalore and Madras. Funding is needed to help even more of these victims. Vittal says while the ministry is difficult, they are seeing fruit.

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