Giving Thanks for Rescue—and a Joyful Reunion in Mumbai

IJM Mumbai celebrated the freedom of two young women rescued during Thanksgiving week.
IJM Mumbai celebrated the freedom of two young women rescued during Thanksgiving week.

MUMBAI, INDIA – Yesterday, IJM helped rescue two young women during a sting operation near a train station in the bustling city of Mumbai. IJM had first discovered and tried to rescue one of these girls back in August—but when the team arrived at the motel where they believed she was being regularly sold to customers, she was not among the five girls they were able to help free.

Over the next several weeks and months, IJM gathered more evidence and followed more leads, eventually learning that this girl had been transferred and was being sold by another pimp. On November 25, the rescue team of IJM staff and police tried again—this time they found the girl and rescued her and another young woman.

Later that same night, as IJM helped both survivors settle into an aftercare home where they will receive crisis counselling and will be able to get ongoing aftercare, this young woman was in for another surprise: Her sister—trafficked at the same time but sold to another brothel in Mumbai—had been rescued in an earlier anti-trafficking operation. The sisters were both placed in the same aftercare home. The IJM staff who were there said the girl is "continuously smiling" now that she has been reunited with her sister.

For IJM Mumbai Field Office Director Sanjay Macwan, the joyful and unexpected reunion of these sisters was a small miracle in and of itself, and he said his team is hopeful that the sisters will strengthen one another in the difficult journey of healing ahead. Sanjay added, "Every rescue is important. Every rescue shakes the underground world of injustice."

Rescue, Sex Trafficking, South Asia