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Timothy Gaikwad is an acclaimed film-maker from Mumbai, India. He’s also the Director of Tearfund partner IMCares. He and his wife Sonali spent a week in Ireland sharing with Tearfund supporters across the country about their work with vulnerable children on the streets of Mumbai and the horrifying reality of sex trafficking.
Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire exposed the world to the experiences of children in the slums of India. ‘The reality is more complex and the solutions must be sustainable. But we are seeing lives transformed as we work with the local church to support vulnerable women and children and address trafficking, poverty’ says acclaimed Indian film-maker and charity manager Timothy Gaikwad, who lives and works with the forgotten children of Mumbai, India.
- 40,000 children are abducted every year in India
- 25 % of approximately 2.3 million sex workers in India are minors
- Almost 2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in India
God raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. Psalm 113: 7 – 8
Rachel was abandoned by her mother when she was only 6 months old. Her mother was a sex-worker in Mumbai and when the police raided her brothel she ran for her life and left her child behind. IMCares staff found Rachel in a rubbish bin and took her in. She was very sick and was soon diagnosed with AIDS. This was the first time IMCares had encountered a person with AIDS and they were afraid and didn’t know how to help her. Fortunately IMCares was able to receive support from Tearfund and they learnt about how to work with children with AIDS. They were able to influence Indian government policy on providing free anti-retroviral medication for people living with HIV. Today IMCares has been recognised by the UNAIDS as a ‘best-practice’ organisation in the area of HIV support. Rachel is now a vibrant and healthy 20 year old and is graduating from school.
‘We are working with local churches and partners to bring about sustainable solutions.’ says Reuben Coulter, Chief Executive of Tearfund Ireland ‘The work of Timothy and IMCares in vital as address immediate needs but also deal with underlying causes of children’s vulnerability, strengthen local church & community responses and advocate for change in government policies.’
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