Day 5 in Kolkata and after presenting to church leaders and bringing ‘greetings’ from the Baptist Union of Great Britain I visit one of the red light districts in one of the slums where 10,000 woman and children trade sex.
I’m visiting as I am keen to see some creative business projects which have been set up. I visited two places that rescue children and women from prostitution and trafficking by giving them employment and showing them an alternative way of life. I met all kinds of people which makes this project possible- graphic designers, printers, counsellors, pastors, workers, machinists, sewers… An amazing team!
These projects aren’t set up as charity’s but businesses to empower people, fairly traded goods of t-shirts, bags and note books. Check out free- set at www.freesetglobal.com
Free set state:
For hundreds of women who were trapped in India’s sex trade free set brings freedom from a life that robbed them of dignity and hope.
On the bag I bought today it said:
Freeset is in the business of restoring what has been stolen. Women are given the opportunity to choose a new job and regain control of their lives in a caring community. Making this bag is part of of a woman’s journey to freedom. To her friends and neighbours among the thousands still trapped in prostitution, she is a symbol of hope.
Yes, it was just brilliant meeting church leaders today including the Bishop of Kolkata but to see first hand the work of ordinary Christians work creatively in business just blew me away! What a day! This is business with a passion to rescue the least, the lost and the last.
By the way, I asked the church leaders gathered how many churches there were in Kolkata. As people counted up on their fingers I announced that I knew exactly how many and I had only been there a few days: One. I encouraged them to have true unity by serving together in mission, not just praying and worshipping but doing.