Girls for Sale

Yes, you read that correctly…Girls for sale, some as young as the age of 2. For what reason you might ask ? The commercial sexual exploitation for financial profit. There are more enslaved people in the world today than were taken from Africa over the 4 centuries of the Trans- Atlantic slave trade combined, Over 30 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 40 billion dollar illegal industry, the third largest after drugs and arms trafficking. An estimated 8 to 10 million of our planets most vulnerable young women and  children (girls and boys) 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 2 years old. The life expectancy of a victim after they have been trafficked is 7 YEARS…The going rate to buy a girl is $90. 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..

Freedom is something that we all take for granted . Simply walking out into the sunshine to take in the suns rays and breathe in the fresh air. To speak your mind, to have the right to voice your opinnion, observe your own beliefs and to practice them.  Most certainly the right to give your body to whom you choose and when.

We have 30 basic undeniable human rights according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created by the United Nations in 1948 to provide a global understanding of how to treat humans:

  1. We are all free and equal. We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.
  2. Don’t discriminate. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.
  3. The right to life.We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.
  4. No slavery – past and present. Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone our slave.
  5. No Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
  6. We all have the same right to use the law. I am a person just like you!
  7. We are all protected by the law. The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
  8. Fair treatment by fair courts.We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.
  9. No unfair detainment. Nobody has the right to put us in prison without a good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from our country.
  10. The right to trial. If we are put on trial this should be in public. The people who try us should not let anyone tell them what to do.
  11. Innocent until proven guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.
  12. The right to privacy. Nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters or bother us or our family without a good reason.
  13. Freedom to move. We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.
  14. The right to asylum. If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.
  15. The right to a nationality. We all have the right to belong to a country.
  16. Marriage and family. Every grown-up has the right to marry and have a family if they want to. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated.
  17. Your own things. Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.
  18. Freedom of thought. We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.
  19. Free to say what you want. We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.
  20. Meet where you like. We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.
  21. The right to democracy. We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.
  22. The right to social security. We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and child care, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.
  23. Workers’ rights. Every grown-up has the right to do a job, to a fair wage for their work, and to join a trade union.
  24. The right to play. We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.
  25. A bed and some food. We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children, people who are old, unemployed or disabled, and all people have the right to be cared for.
  26. The right to education. Education is a right. Primary school should be free. We should learn about the United Nations and how to get on with others. Our parents can choose what we learn.
  27. Culture and copyright. Copyright is a special law that protects one’s own artistic creations and writings; others cannot make copies without permission. We all have the right to our own way of life and to enjoy the good things that “art,” science and learning bring.
  28. A free and fair world. There must be proper order so we can all enjoy rights and freedoms in our own country and all over the world.
  29. Our responsibilities. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.
  30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us.

When you are trafficked, you are a slave, each and every one of these 30 basic human rights are categorically non existant and denied to them.

I sit here now writing and reflecting on my involvement in Anti Trafficking on my flight back from India. This is my 6th trip in as many years. I am very humbled and honored to say that thru my passion and dedication, I now sit on the board of a 501c3 charity Puresa Humanitarian, an organization founded by Giselle Meza who herself is a trafficking survivor. The work that she does is nothing short of miraculous. She has given me the opportunity to serve in a meaningful and authentic way.

Feb 7th-Day 1-Giselle and the Puresa team arrive to Kolkata on day one to meet with an amazing organization called Kolkata Sanved-(see prior blogs) Kolkata Sanved has had great success using Dance Movement Therapy DMT as a modality to heal, empower and rehabilitate survivors of sex trafficking and violence. Several of our little girls who are now coming into young adulthood, and have been in our home for some time are becoming  re-traumatized, having vivid memories reliving the violence that was perpetrated on them as children. We sit with the director Sohini and her team to  collaborate and bring the program to our home as we know it would be of great benefit to the girls, seeing the success they have had with their program. We hope that this can come to fruition. More about their Dance for Revolution in a later post.

From there we head out to a remote slum village along the railroad tracks where several weeks prior, Puresa Humanitarian rescued a beautiful young handicapped girl living with her mom, we will call her Sita. Sita lost her leg due to a wound that was never properly treated. Her mom although caring and loving, cannot give supervision as she must clean homes to provide  meager amounts of food and a roof over their heads. This left Sita vulnerable to any man or trafficker passing through the railroad. Her mom asked if we would take Sita. She is safe and thriving at our home. We are looking into getting her a prosthetic leg.


DSC_0031Sita’s mother’s homeDSC_0034The inside, though small, so clean. Sita’s mom is so hospitable  and kind. She offers us sweets, the only place to sit is the bed or the floor.DSC_0039Sita’s mom and our team member Sima preparing snacks for usDSC_0032The bridge that Sita had to traverse in order to go to the bathroom in the field.DSC_0036Sita’s momDSC_0021Sita’s mom greets us on the streetDSC_0037The view from Sita’s bed to the outside world.

Sita’s mom informs us that her other daughter has been missing (assumed dead and no one cares because she is a women) and that her two grandchildren (Sita’s cousins) had been locked up in a makeshift shack, while the father disappeared for days on end. On the grandmothers request our team broke thru the shackles on the doors and the sisters are now safe with us, and their cousin Sita.DSC_0055The outside of the makeshift shack Sita’s cousins were held inDSC_0057InsideDSC_0058The girls were kept behind these shackled doorsDSC_0060 It is unimaginable that children were locked behind these doors. Tears flow every time.

As the villagers  become familiar with our community outreach and prevention, they begin to realize how vulnerable their children and at risk they are to being trafficked, another request comes from a mom in that village to take her two daughters.

The parents sign papers and The sisters left with us that day, and are now in our safe home.  I will tell you in no uncertain terms, that had Puresa Humanitarian not brought these little girls out of that railway slum, they would have fallen prey to the hands of traffickers.



Now, at Puresa Humanitarian, they will have access to health care, spiritual and psychological counseling, education, jobs skills training and so much more. They now have the potential to become the future scholors, doctors, educators,and womens rights advocates. Day 1 was incredible. My heart is overflowing.


The pediatrician examining the sisters at the home. Little fever and cough, but all is well.


Ancient Indian culture, the philosophy and tradition of Yoga has enriched my life in unimaginable ways, as it has millions of others in the yoga community. The tradition by in large does exist there,  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 in 2019. It is indeed an honor to stand side by side with these special women and children and bear witness to our common humanity.

I will write about the remaing days of my trip in the coming days.

Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu

May All Beings Be Happy and Free

Girls Are Not For Sale

if you would like to donate to Puresa Humanitarian-

If you would like to purchase product made by survivors to be self sustainable
if you would like to purchase a hand made mala with all proceeds going toward rescue and rehabilitation of human trafficking-
if you would like to donate/sponsor or participate in our annual yoga fundraising initiative please visit



in the trenches with Puresa Humanitarian

india10india9india8india7india6india5india4india3india2india9india10Words are simply inadequate to describe the events of this day spent in the trenches of the slums, red light districts  and brothel’s with Giselle and her team from Puresa Humanitarian….all of these situations are extremely tenuous, delicate and life threatening. we stopped at 4 different slums outlined below. prior to this day, i had never been in rescue scenarios, only post care, with the exception of the drop in centers in the red light districts. i seriously do not know how i made it through the day without collapsing, except through the grace of GOD.
1st stop- house of a sex worker to check on her daughter of 9 and her young son. The mom loves her children deeply but realizes that if her daughter remains in the home with her, she will fall into prostitution or be trafficked. She agrees to allow her daughter to come to the safe house at an undisclosed place and time.
2nd stop-  brothel where we met with the madams. there were 4 of them.They are soulless, with no compassion for the girls whatsoever. chances are that all of these madams were trafficked at a young age as well, they are so hardened. no pictures here. my leaders were trying to negotiate with them to let us help 2 young girls that were born there. The girls are 12 and 13, (they say, but they looked much younger to me) and are forced to service men anywhere fron 10-14 times a day.It took a lot of convincing for them to let us meet with the girls, they finally relented. The whole situation utterly surreal and frightening.
3rd stop- a slum under a bridge to take food, flip flops and other supplies to a mom and her 3 daughters. Her 4 th daughter was raped and murdered by a trafficker, her body thrown into a sewer. My leaders carefully speak with the mom ( pimp nearby)to negotiate the terms of rescuing her 3 girls from the same fate. Abject poverty here. Once again words do not suffice .
4th and final stop- China Mandir slum to visit sex workers and try to rescue one of the sex workers daughters, her approximate age is 10. This is an extremely active area, tents every 20 feet with 2-3 foot paths in between.
Again, no adequate words. It was an honor to accompany these unsung heros through the slums and brothels of India. I am alive and so very grateful that I am fortunate enough to help these creatues of GOD in my own small way, who are abused and marginalized in a way that Cannot be comprehended. No human being should ever be for sale.
if you would like to donate to Puresa Humanitarian-
if you would like to purchase a hand made mala with all proceeds going toward rescue and rehabilitation of human trafficking-
if you would like to donate/sponsor or participate in our annual yoga fundraising initiative please visit


Day 2and 3 Delhi to Kolkata
Day 2 begins with a 5 a.m. Wake up. The night before, we pooled and condensed our donation bags. There were 5 suitcases that were filled to the brim with much needed medical supplies, toiletries, sundry items, and school supplies. In our arsenal were, arts and crafts, nail polish, hair bows, ribbons, clips, old time games from home like jump ropes, Twister, kazoos, harmonicas, bubbles, lollipops, and the big deal was 2 photo printers .
These supplies were to be distributed over the next several days as we visited each of the organizations over the next week and 1/2.
If you hate being delayed at an airport in the U.S. all I can do is 🙂
The flight was delayed several hours, and the flight itself a complete odyssey.
In India, it is essential to ” go with the flow”
From the insanity of the bustling city of Delhi, to the tropical environment of Kolkata, the same overcrowded and impoverished conditions exist.
Here, the locals live in the same muck and mire, just in a rural environment, with perhaps a little more space. Instead of the tiny shanties and shacks being right on the city streets, they are on rural roads and farms, but still right off the road. What is amazing, is the absolute lack of privacy. They are living out in the open. There are no doors,windows or even rooftops. The people bathe, shave, cut their hair, and toilet out in the open along with the cows, goats and dogs. This does not seem to phase the people , you can’t miss what you do not nor , ever even dreamed of having.
Our bus pulls into Made by Survivors, which has collaborated with Women’s Interlink Foundation and Child Care Home.
A huge steel metal wall surrounds the facility to protect the girls from the pimps and traffickers going back to kidnap them again.Some of these girls are extremely young ranging in age from about 6 to 18.
I do not need to know their individual stories. They have all been through unimaginable torture, the scars physically visible on some, psychically and spiritually on all.
The children are a little leery of us at first, we are a spectacle any place we gobin this country.
After breaking the ice with some playful yoga, we split off into groups to play with girls with the stuff we brought with us.
They were so excited, cries of delight as they called us : “Auntie,!!!!’Auntie!!!! One more photo please, Auntie ” ( 100 photos later !) It quickly turned into a lovefest.
The huge hit was the photo printers. Most of these kids have never seen a picture of themselves. To see the joy on their little faces when they held and marveled at that simple piece of paper was heartwarming.
The older girls in the home did beautiful henna designs on all of our hands.
The girls in the Made By Survivors jewelry program, sat with each of us individually and made us our own one of a kind pieces.
The girl who made my piece is named Sumaiya
At lunchtime we were treated to a feast of home cooked yummy Indian food.
The day passed by so quickly. All of our group was teary eyed and sad when it was time to say our goodbyes.
The girls are in self protection mode and arevguarded with their emotions, and theybknew we were only there for the day and could afford the sadness of becoming too attached.
All and all the day was joyfull.
After boarding the bus to go back to the hotel, we were notified that one of the girls who sat beside the entire time I was printing pictures had been taken out. She had been trafficked from Nepal and turned 18, and the Indian government was being repatrioted back to Nepal. Heartbreaking… I pray she gets returned to her family.
With all of the great work these NGO’s are doing, there is so much that is out of their control when children are trafficked from other countries. The borders are porous and police and governments are complicit.
On the grass roots level, so much good work is being done. I pray one day it will be global.
No child should be sexually exploited and tortured.
Abolish 21st Century Slavery







New Delhi day 1
I arrived in New Delhi by cover of darkness, around midnight by the time I cleared customs. I was amazed at the hustle and bustle still going on at that time of night.
The first thing assault on my senses was the stench of raw sewage.
We boarded the bus the following morning to go to one of OTM’ s NGO partners Apne Ap Women Worldwide. More on that later.
New Delhi is like nothing like I have ever seen or experienced in my life, and it’s not as if i have led a sheltered life. I am a native New Yorker after all and consider myself to be somewhat, well, wordly… Not so much…If you can imagine a literal garbage dump with chunks of cement, trash, countless stray dogs, cows, pedestrians, carts, cars, buses, bicycles and people all sharing the same space at one time. Indian people are seemingly un phased by this. They go about their lives out in the open, on the sidewalk, people are bathing, shaving, brushing teeth, having their hair cut and every where you turn men urinating, and most painful. . Witnessing all of this from my western point of view, I interpret this as human suffering, and I am not so sure I am correct..
In spite of this lack of privacy and personal space, the Indian people are warm, welcoming and quick with a smile. They are seemingly a content people.
I am truly a stranger in a strange land. It is my nature to trust basic human nature as good, but I have been all too educated about this systemic dark and horrendous crime of sex trafficking, which is pervasive worldwide, but the worst here in India. I find that I am constantly at odds with my true nature vs what I have come to know. It is mentally and physically exhausting.
I do not know the female to male ratio in India, but from a visual, I would guess about 50/1
here in Delhi.
Many of these men are involved in some way with sex trafficking, be it the traffickers themselves, the pimps or the johns.
There are hoards of children begging on the streets here. They have been trafficked as well. They are not necessarily sexually exploited, but they are in debt bondage. Their captors will beat and abuse them if they do not return with their quota for the day.
I will depart this city, with pieces of my heart scattered all about.
Abolish 21st Century Slavery