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Rescue in the red light district

By July 29, 2009

India (MNN) — Freedom is possible for the nearly 200,000 victims of the sex trade in Mumbai’s red light district. India Partners has been building relationships with these women for the last nine years, working toward the goal of rescuing them and their children from prostitution.

The organization works in eight different red light areas in Mumbai. It provides counseling, health services, education, child protection, and spiritual guidance.

Sometimes the children of prostitutes suffer severe neglect. They receive no physical care, education, or even love. They’re left to wander alone, day and night, through the red light district, completely vulnerable to those who would take advantage of them.

Such was life for four-year-old Rubina and Sona (names changed for privacy), until India Partners staff convinced their mothers to admit them to a rehabilitation center for the
children of women in prostitution. The two little girls found refuge at Anandalay
(Place of Joy) in June 2009 and have been enrolled in a local nursery school.

If no one had come to rescue them, they would probably have been caught in the web of the sex trade and second-generation prostitution.

God is also working through India Partners to save adult women from prostitution in Mumbai. Rajitha (name changed for privacy) grew up in a village but was deceived and trafficked into prostitution in Mumbai. Beatings forced her to comply with her captors and work the trade, and she wanted to escape.

By February of 2009, Rajitha had become pregnant. India Partners made contact with her, providing visits, counseling, medical care, and prayer. Gradually she learned to trust India Partners, and in May she made the decision to leaveprostitution.

India Partners helped her do this safely, and made arrangements for the birth of her child. Tragically, the baby was stillborn.

Nevertheless, God strengthened Rajitha and kept her from falling back into slavery. She came to Sharan Sthan (Place of Refuge) on June 15, 2009, and has expressed
a desire to follow Christ. The staff at the center is counseling her through the grieving process and preparing her to live self-sufficiently. She said they “are like my family.”

On June 9, India Partners opened a new Drop In center in the Bhiwandi red light area to provide safety and privacy as staff build relationships with more women like Rajitha. They have already begun relationships with about 50 women in the area, and several attended the center’s inauguration. They experienced a time of praise, worship, and prayer.

Thousands more women and children just like Rubina, Sona, and Rajitha need help. You can help fund the ministry that offers them freedom. You can also pray for those who have been rescued and for those who need to be rescued.

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