538682_286669744756417_238254020_nDid you know that there are more enslaved people in the world today than were taken from Africa in the 4 centuries of the Trans- Atlantic slave trade???? Over 27 million people. The forcible exploitation of humans for profit is not only alive and well, it is thriving. This 21st century incarnation of slavery that I speak of, is that of human sex trafficking. Sex Trafficking is a horrendous and insidious crime against humanity. It is a 32 billion dollar illegal industry, the third largest after drugs and arms trafficking. An estimated 3 to 6 million women and children are enslaved for sex at any given time, with nearly a million of whom are trafficked across international borders each year. The average age of these children is 12 to 14, but there have been many reports of children as young as 3 years old. The life expectancy of a victim after they have been trafficked is 7 YEARS…These victims are lured into sex trafficking by traffickers due to natural disaster, promise of a job or better life, false marriage proposals, being sold by parents due to extreme poverty and debt, or simply kidnapped. These sex traffickers condition their victims through rape, gang rape, torture, physical abuse, starvation, confinement, and forced drug use, among many other unspeakable means, in the most deplorable of conditions..
OFF THE MAT AND INTO THE WORLD (OTM), is a program of the nonprofit 501c3, The Engage Network. Founded in 2007, by Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling, their mission is to use the power of yoga to inspire conscious and sustainable activism in order to ignite grassroots social change. OTM has had an “Off The Mat Global Seva Challenge ” since 2008 whereby, participants are asked to raise $20,000 through fundraising. OTM has held the “Global Seva Challenge” for the last 4 years running, 2008 in Cambodia, 2009 in Uganda, 2010 in South Africa and 2011 in Haiti.
In 2012 OTM has concentrated it’s fundraising efforts in India with “Off the Mat Into The World Global Seva Challenge India”, in which I have been a participant. I personally raised over $20K and the group as a whole raised a record $1,1028.00. The focus in India are the enslaved women and children who are being exploited as sex slaves and facing extreme poverty and abuse. We will work directly with our partners and projects in India to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate these women and children back into society. I could not feel more inspired and compelled to action.
Yoga, the Indian culture, philosophy and tradition has enriched my life in unimaginable ways, as it has millions of others in the yoga community. To me… it is inconceivable that this evil lurks in our world today… We, as a collective, have the ability to enact substantial and sustainable change in India, leaving a legacy there, helping to rehabilitate an estimated one million women and children who have been sold into sex slavery, to lead a healthy and normal life. Please join me in my visit to India. It is indeed an honor to stand side by side with these special women and children and witness our common humanity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s