- Posted December 3, 2013 by
Woodland Park, Colorado
Nonprofit Partners in India Free 57 Girls from Trafficking: 22 Sex Slaves Hidden Behind a False Wall
November 20, 2013, Mumbai, India
Last week, 57 victims of sex slavery were freed from working at a dance bar named “SX4” near Shil Phata, India. The raid included 18 minors and resulted in the arrests of 14 individuals.
James Varghese, of the nonprofit Indian Rescue Mission, coordinated the case with the Mumbai police. His investigators had gathered evidence on the bar revealing underage workers, but previously planned raids had been tipped off three times before the successful raid on the 20th.
After seven hours of processing the victims at the dance bar with police, the team began to hear noises coming from behind a wall. They investigated the noises and upon tearing down a portion of the wall, discovered 22 girls hidden in a cramped space, without fresh air, food, or water. When the team broke through the wall, many of the girls immediately fainted.
“We heard sounds from the wall. We opened and saw this shocking scene. It was real. These girls were detained without oxygen or light for seven hours. I gave an interview with the media and said the police are responsible for this,” Varghese texted Matt Parker, founder of The Exodus Road, the Colorado-Based nonprofit which fully funds the work of Varghese’s team.
Currently, the girls are being held temporarily at the local police station in sub-par conditions because local after care centers do not have the capacity to house such a large number of victims.
The Exodus Road is working with Indian Rescue Mission to secure safe housing and better care for the rescued victims. Matt Parker, himself a former undercover investigator into sex trafficking and founder of The Exodus Road, said, “This unfortunate situation highlights the realities for many victims of trafficking. There just aren’t enough shelters to send victims to and there aren’t enough resources to meet the immediate needs, and then victims often end up being treated like criminals.”
The Exodus Road is a coalition of organizations focused on fueling the process of deliverance for victims of sexual slavery. To date, The Exodus Road has supported the rescues of 249 victims since July 2012 in both India and Thailand.
The Exodus Road. Video of Room Where Girls Were Trapped (http://vimeo.com/80023077)
The Exodus Road (www.theexodusroad.com)