India (MNN) — The latest report from the United States Department of State says human trafficking in India spiked at least 25 percent last year. Every hour, four women and girls enter prostitution in India — three of them against their will.
There are a few contributing factors to the dramatic increase in India’s human trafficking tragedy in 2016. Some of the factors include the 2015 earthquake in neighboring Nepal creating unstable situations, and traffickers growing more technologically advanced in their methods and document forgeries. Much of the trafficking that comes to India funnels from Nepal and Bangladesh to the major cities.
Raju Sharma with Christian Aid Mission shares further sobering statistics: “The current rate that we have in India, if this continues, by 2025 one out of every five Indian girl children will be a child prostitute…. Girls aged as young as 10 are trafficked, and mostly because of economic reasons.”
He goes on to explain a value trend in India that contributes to human trafficking. “Because of the belief system, the girls are not considered equal to men. They are more prone to the [trafficking] risk. So in a family, if a girl is born, it’s not considered a joy. It’s like a disgrace; it’s like a burden. The families [who] are poor…if they were hoping for boys and end up with more girls, they would like to get them rid of, because they can’t survive, they can’t feed the family. So these predators who are lurking around in the neighborhood offer them a price, and that’s how the girl gets sold out.”
According to Havocscope, the average price to sell a child into human trafficking in India is $45 USD. To sell a girl child specifically into human trafficking, it only takes $24 USD. Comparatively, if you were to sell a buffalo in India, it would be about $350 USD.
The Church Making a Difference
With human trafficking in India on the rise, this is exactly where the Body of Christ needs to step in — and many within the Church already are.
Christian Aid’s ministry partners work to rehabilitate girls and women who have been rescued from sexual slavery. And even in the midst of deep pain and brokenness, God is moving. “Like recently, they started a small prayer group…. And through the small prayer group, there were about four of these girls who came to Christ. They were healed from brokenness and hurt and abuse and especially anger. They would react very fast and they would get angry, and through that prayer encounter, God delivered them and they were transformed.”
Currently, Sharma says there are about 20 girls who need help to enter their ministry partner’s care center. Please pray that God would protect them, and that they would know they are worthy of love in Christ.
Sharma says Christian Aid also wants to go to the root of the problem that makes children and families more at-risk to trafficking. “Poverty is one of them, but how do we handle poverty? So we are now assisting groups in neighborhoods that we call slums. There, where the children who don’t have access to education, [they] are the ones who are higher at risk.
“We are encouraging groups and assisting them so they would start after-school [programs] or school for these children.”
But it doesn’t stop there. “If a girl child is educated, basically we will educate the entire family. The problem in India is the women who are not educated. We feel if a girl or mother is educated, they will educate the rest of the people in the family.”
Christian Educational Curriculum Donations Needed
These schools often use Christian curriculum and start conversations about the Gospel. But they still need more curriculum materials for these schools educating at-risk kids in India’s slums.
“We are looking at homeschool materials, if people would like to give — A Beka is one of them. This is very expensive and they can’t afford to buy them. If there are families who…have books they are not using for grades one through ten, they could offer that and we could supply that back to starting these schools.”
It’s a very tangible way to give kids in India a real chance at education and opportunities other than the red light districts. Even if you personally don’t have these materials to give, you can share this need with friends and family who may have curriculum to donate!
With A Beka curriculum donations for grammar and math grades one through three, Christian Aid says the used books are fine, but they prefer those that are blank.
A Beka material donations can be mailed to — Christian Aid Mission, Attn: Morgan Wood, 1201 5th Street Extended, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Also, if you’d like to just give financially to this ministry in India, you can mail checks to, Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906, using gift code 637CHM-EDU.
As Sharma puts it, “At the end of the day, transformation of hearts is very important. If we do all that goodness, but the heart is not transformed, the society is not transformed. So the groups we assist have a vision to bring Jesus into the picture and Jesus is the one who will transform their lives.”