Listen in today as I chat to one of my new heroes from India. Smita tells us why she works in the world of human trafficking, how young women are so resilient, why the issue is not always related to poverty and how she thinks things are getting better.
Smita grew up in a Christian home where she was inspired to help others. She knew at a young age that she would pursue a degree in clinical psychology. Once she graduated, she worked as a counsellor for a drug and rehabilitation clinic. Then continuing to follow her heart, she made the transition into an international justice organization that rescued young girls who were sold into the sex trade in Kolkata.
As she participated in this work, helping to rescue over 171 girls, Smita noticed that many times they were rescuing the same girls and realized the need to good aftercare to prevent re-trafficking. She set out to start a holistic aftercare home that was dramatically different than the existing institutions that were like “processing warehouses” for rescued girls. In 2010 her vision became a reality when Mahima opened its doors to their first aftercare home.
Mahima is a holistic ministry that is made up of a set of licensed aftercare facilities in Kolkata for the rescue and restoration of girls who were trafficked as minors into the sex trade. In 2010, Mahima opened its doors meeting a huge need for good aftercare in order to prevent re-trafficking, promote healing and restoration within the girls’ lives as well as the prosecution of perpetrators.
She is supported and funded through an organization working to develop leaders in the Global South called Partners International.