So, I visited the red light district today

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.

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4 thoughts on “So, I visited the red light district today

  1. I agree, and I’m willing to help. But I wouldn’t know where to begin in setting up a business. The bare minimum needs would be a few people who know how to build and run a business and good contacts with the people needing help and those in the community who know them. And I suspect it’s going to need to be lots of local, small businesses. Starting something national or international would need a REAL entrepreneur!

    I like the idea of a carpentry business 🙂

    • There used to be a comment ahead of mine, to which I was agreeing. But it has vanished! The writer mentioned that surely we, in the UK, could create some businesses to help those struggling to survive. It’s clearly possible in India so why not here too?

      Regardless of why that comment was left here and then disappeared, the principle still stands. We could do something like that. And although I don’t have the skills to start a business, I am willing to help if I can.

  2. There are some free teaching materials for a business start up course that was developed by UK Christians for use in Uganda that are available online under the name Reconxile. This summer I looked at adapting them for use locally but struggled to find much support. While doing some background research I spoke to someone who runs an advice centre who was excited by the idea of the course I wanted to run. Her clients included many people in debt who did not have a way out because they could not find a job so were surviving on benefits. The course I wanted to run included a 12 step program for personal development that was linked to developing a business rather than a course on money management. After all you cannot manage money if you do not have any to manage in the first place!

    Since then I have felt such a strong calling to go back to the area where I grew up that I cannot ignore it any longer. I will probably end up in North Wales rather than Chester due to the house prices. When the dust settles I will be picking up that idea again.

    BTW if you know of someone looking to move to south west Durham I know where there is a nice house for sale with a good history! I found it by visiting a church and finding myself at the minister’s leaving do. He had a house to sell and I needed a new house so God sorted out two of His children’s problems in one transaction.

    PS Don’t worry about deleting my earlier post. I know your heart is in the right place.

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