Catholic nuns working against human trafficking in various parts of India have pledged to live the values of the Indian Constitution and continue their mission with renewed vigor.
Around 170 nuns from 80 women religious congregations gathered from November 24-26 at Proggaloy, Barasat, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, to share their adventurous and successful moments as well as the challenges they faced while combating human trafficking.
The meeting was the 13th annual general body meeting of Amrat Talitha Kum India, which is affiliated with Talitha Kum International.
Bishop Shyamal Boss of Baruipur, who led the inaugural Mass, reiterated the significance of working against human trafficking and appreciated the women Religious for their tireless and courageous efforts to check the social menace. He also hailed the nuns’ contribution to enhancing the Church’s effective presence in the country and the world at large.
PM Nair, a renowned retired police officer who was the resource person of the day, shared his personal interventions in rescuing children and his attitude of Christ-like compassion to the victims and survivors of Human Trafficking. He said he was “so happy to interact with so many sisters in the divine and universal Mission to work on preventing human slavery.”
Nair said his motto is “No Child is for Sale, No Woman is for Sale, No Human Being is for Sale, and that we all shall work to end trafficking in persons by SPOT IT, SPEAK IT, ACT IT, AND STOP IT.” He had introduced the Anti-Human Trafficking Cell in India.
Father Isaac Rumao of Gujarat Jesuit Province, the director of St. Xavier’s Social Service Society Ahmedabad, spoke on the importance and strength of networking. He said that to resist, to reduce, and to stop organized crime, people have to be well organized through the Network.
Bethany Sister Jyoti Pinto, the founding president of Amrat Talitha Kum India, who coordinated the program, stressed the importance of working in solidarity with a heart of passion for Christ and compassion for humanity.
Sister Meera Mathew, a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd and the president of the organization, explained to the participants the theme, Power to Care, Power to Empower, and the Power to Restore.
Since November 26 was National Constitutional Day, the participants took the pledge to live the Constitutional Values.
The meeting brought to light that several sisters are preparing the kinner community to be a part of their work to combat human trafficking.
Sister Jyoti Almeida from Pune, a first-time attendee, said that she was encouraged to see the enormous work being done by sisters in different regions, in spite of the risks involved.
Sister Gloria from Tamil Nadu said that she would motivate many sisters to take up this work at the earliest possible, as it is one of the burning issues.
The meeting aimed to motivate women religious across India to take up the challenging ministry. Besides this, to capacitate the sisters with different skills to address ground-level realities on the issue.
It helped the members to create a strong bond between the network members, said Holy Cross Sister Prema Chowallur, who campaigns against human trafficking in northeastern India.