CHENNAI, INDIA – Today is a brand new day for 27 people—including nine children—rescued from this rice mill in India.
We helped local officials with the rescue operation on December 17, and we’re thankful for the way the government took the lead. They provided immediate medical attention—one survivor is recovering from leprosy, and one is severely anemic. They ordered dinner and made sure each family had enough towels and sheets to spend their first night in freedom. They even said they will give these families plots of land, since they have nowhere to go after being held in forced labor slavery at the mill.
The work for IJM social workers in Chennai is just beginning, as they help each family make a plan to find work, enroll their children in school, and begin to process the trauma of being held in slavery. But today we celebrate that these men, women and children have new futures.
This Christmas, they will wake up not as slaves, but as families.