Ministering to families alongside the garbage dump

By September 25, 2015
(Photo courtesy ReachGlobal Crisis Response)

(Photo courtesy ReachGlobal Crisis Response)

India (ReachGlobal) – [EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog post, written by Rachel Bliss with ReachGlobal Crisis Response (EFCA) shares how the Gospel truth and education are the key to a brighter and less vulnerable future.]

You always know when you are approaching the garbage dump of Kolkata. The stench from burning trash begins to sting your nostrils even before the hills of garbage and rising smoke are visible. Just a short ten miles from central Kolkata, a community of families call this area home. Many of the women engage in rag-picking in the nearby garbage dump that collects 2500 tons of waste per day. Men are involved in “garbage farming,” using waste from the dump to fertilize their crops. More than 40% of the green vegetables in the Kolkata markets come from these “fields.”

The families living in this community are migrants who came to Kolkata decades ago and illegally occupied the undesirable land near the garbage dump. Despite their best efforts to climb out of paralyzing poverty, the families in this community remain entrapped and vulnerable to the ravages of poverty: malnutrition, disease, and human trafficking.

Crowded conditions and lack of adequate sanitation result in gastro-intestinal illness and a high percentage of tuberculosis. Breathing highly-polluted air day in and day out leads to respiratory diseases. This area has also been notorious for criminal and anti-social activities, including open sale of illegal drugs, liquor, and other contraband objects. The tentacles of the traffickers are sure to reach this vulnerable community soon, deceiving women and children with false promises of a job and a better life in another location.

Most people avoid going anywhere near the garbage dump of Kolkata, but NOT Shikha and Gus, a Bengali couple who deeply love Jesus. In 2009, compelled by the love of Christ, Shikha and Gus began traveling regularly to minister to the children and families living alongside the garbage dump of Kolkata.

EFCA is now partnering with Gus and Shikha to prevent human trafficking among the families living under the shadow and in the stench of the Kolkata garbage dump. Now you can also “travel with Gus and Shikha” to minister to needy families and prevent the trafficking of children and youth.

Children’s education is key to prevention of trafficking. When a child is educated, he or she is less vulnerable to the tricks of the traffickers. When you sponsor a child through GlobalFingerprints, children’s educational needs are met.

70 children living near a Kolkata garbage dump need a sponsor. Will you help to rescue a child before the traffickers reach him or her? Will you “divide your bread with the hungry”? $35 a month can change a child’s life, bringing health, hope and protection from traffickers. To choose a child from the community of families living near the garbage dump, go to the GlobalFingerprints Web site and choose a child from India: Mukti 1.

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