US baseball player in India to curb menace of sex trafficking
Washington, Jan. 31 : American baseball player R.A. Dickey has teamed with Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC), a Christian organization in Mumbai to stop sex trafficking in India.
Dickey, who had written about being sexually abused as a child in his autobiography Wherever I Wind Up, said that he can emphatise with the abused women and children because of his childhood experience, reports CBS News.
The NL Cy Young winner added that he had seen first-hand teenaged girls and young women working as prostitutes in Mumbai's red-light district, which was distressing for him because they reminded him of his own daughters, Gabriel and Lila, who accompanied him.
Although he had researched before coming to India, Dickey said that he was unprepared for the sights that met him as he travelled throughout the city, and specially cited the case of a young boy, covered with sores, whom he found playing in the dirty streets among the garbage.
He added that the main problem was that these people do not have a voice to speak up for them.
Dickey said that to give his children a lesson in humanity, he had exposed them in measured ways to the different realities of life, and added that his daughters had a good response.
However, Dickey said that he had also seen hope in Ashagram, a rehabilitation centre outside Mumbai, where he and his daughters saw a positive effect in the 300 inhabitants, all women and children, many of whom are HIV positive.
Dickey, who speaks openly with his daughters about his own sexual abuse, helped celebrate the opening of a clinic in the midst of Mumbai's red-light district. He contributed to the paying for the clinic, raising over 100,000 dollars by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Thomason Varghese from BTC said the organization was blessed by Dickey's presence and added that the presence of his daughters were an added benefit because they interacted with the abused children without any inhibitions, despite their different backgrounds.
Commending on the work done by BTC, Dickey said that for women who had been pushed into prostitution and are dying alone at their hospitals, BTC is like a beacon of light for them as the organisation has taken a stand to care for their children.