India Partners and Sahaara

By February 9, 2009

India (MNN) — Between 100,000 and 200,000 women are trapped in sex-trafficking in Mumbai, India alone. India Partners has recently partnered with Sahaara Charitable Society to rescue hurting women and children.

"We're very excited about this organization," says India Partners' Regional Representative Kaytie Fiedler. "They are doing amazing work not only with the women, but with their children; and not only with helping them be rescued from the bondage, but also with their physical, spiritual and emotional health."

The effort to rescue victims is not an easy task. Sahaara sends counselors into the Red Light District to talk with women, asking them basic questions about their children and their health. Counselors have to be careful not to share the Gospel or take women to shelters before trust is built.

"[One goal is] to reach the women and help them find a way out of that lifestyle. Often times it can take years. These women have already been betrayed. They've already been told that if they come here, they're going to find a better life and they'll have all the money that they want and that they'll be taken care of like a queen. Well, when they get there, of course the exact opposite is true. So if someone else is coming up to them and saying ‘I've got a better way,' they're not going to likely believe them until there's been a very deep relationship of trust that's been built through physical care, through the care of their children."

Unsurprisingly, Sahaara's other great initiative rests in reaching victims' children. Children are the easiest to reach, according to Fiedler, despite their horrifying conditions.

"Most of these children are left in these small cement rooms where their moms are conducting their business. Often times they're drugged; they're put under the bed; they're often used in the act. So initially, that relationship starts with trying to touch the child and getting them to a place of safety."

Sahaara has provided places for these children to escape. They have several preschools and feeding centers throughout the city, as well as a night shelter that provides safety for children at night if they need it. Children are provided with education, meals, and the hope of Jesus Christ.

Women are given similar accommodations as they become ready to leave their lifestyles. These women are taken to a safe house about two hours away from the Red Light District, where they are given job training, counseling and Christ-like love.

India Partners is helping Sahaara by sending funding and mission teams. Currently, they are helping to raise around $500,000 USD to build a new women's shelter, which will help hundreds of women.

India Partners is also sending small trips of five or six people to Sahaara. They are looking mostly for doctors and counselors who could help these women physically, spiritually and emotionally. If you can help India Partners in this way of with funding, click here.

In the meantime, please pray for the safety of these desperate and exploited women and children. Pray for their hearts to be softened to receive the hope of Jesus Christ, who alone can heal their wounds.

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