India has an estimated 1.2 million girls who were either kidnapped or sold by their families and are now enslaved in brothels.
I would like to tell you the story of Divya and Rajiv. I have changed their names to protect their identity, but the story I will tell you is entirely true.
When Divya was a ten and her brother Rajiv was five years old, they were rescued at the last second from what would have been a horrible fate.
Their father died in a traffic accident. After his death, their mother became a prostitute to make ends meet.
Men came and went from their hut at all hours. The mother was diagnosed as HIV-positive and became more and more hardened and abusive toward her three children. She beat them and threatened to kill them.
At that time she also had a two year-old daughter in addition to Divya and Rajiv. Divya says that one day her mother took all three children somewhere and met a man the children did not know. The man gave their mother money and took the two year-old girl with him. They never saw her again and she has not been found.
A few days later the mother took Divya and Rajiv to meet another man with the intent to sell them also. But this time a child welfare organization learned what was happening and intervened just as the transaction was about to take place.
The children were taken to a police station and later were given to one of the orphanages supported by World’s Children.
Here is what the orphanage administrator wrote about Divya: “She told us that she did not wish to return to her mother but wants to stay here and study well. She is a bright, dimple-cheeked girl, but one can see sadness often creeping into her eyes remembering her past and sometimes she suddenly cries.
“It is two months since she came here and we are working hard to get her to normalcy. She is happy to go to school and says she wants to become a doctor when she grows up.””
Just imagine the life these two priceless children would have faced if they had not been rescued and taken to a sanctuary children’s home. It is the difference between a girl being sold into slavery, or being safe and secure dreaming of becoming a doctor.
Without your help and support, children like Divya and Rajiv may never have a chance of believing in their dreams. Now they can, thanks to folks like you.