Thursday, September 1, 2011
I just received the book CAGE: The Horror and the Hope from our Senior Pastor and his Amazing wife just two days ago. It took me almost 24 hours just to open it. I knew that what I was about to see and read would again change me forever, even more than I have already been changed. This book is a mixture of photography, poetry, statistics, and personal accounts of what takes place in Kamathipura which is located in Mumbai. Kamathipura, the largest red light district in Asia is referred to as "the Cage." No one enters "the Cage" because of their own will; they are often tricked or forcefully "sold." The average age of entry is 12 but can often times be as young as 7. These minors are held captive in literal cages for 3-5 years until they are "broken." This statement alone makes me want to cry out in anger, you see what they mean by "until they are broken" literally means that they will remain in cages "rooms" where they have to service 10-25 men a day until they break and completely disconnect, they stop fighting, they lose hope, they lose their will and their spirit and they accept that this is now their life. It is then that the madam will allow them to go solicit openly on the streets. The rawness of this book is sickening. I think most of us do not like to think of this other world, the one where these horrible injustices take place. A place where fathers, husbands, brothers, and uncles sell their daughters for a monetary sum to live a life of torture and hell. But this is happening, today, this is happening. I can't help but look at my daughter, so precious and innocent and think of these girls a world away and how polar opposite their lives are. I can't help but be overwhelmed by how blessed we are to have been born into this privileged life. Born into a country where girls and women are treated as gifts. Where fathers treat their daughters like princesses and raise them saying things like "no boy will ever be good enough for you." To say that this breaks my heart is not enough. To say it ignites a fire in my soul is an complete understatement. I will make a difference and I will fight for these girls. I don't know how exactly but with God on my side I know I can make a difference.