Herzl Ner Tamid and the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church are co-sponsoring Urmi Basu’s visit to Seattle from April 27 through May 5 where she will speak on “Breaking the Cycle of Human Trafficking”. She will speak at a community wide event on Mercer Island on Sunday, May 5, from 6:30-8:30 at Herzl ner Tamid and will screen the New Light segment from “Half the Sky”.
Urmi is the founder and Director of New Light, which is an NGO based in Kolkata, India’s red light district, and is involved with saving women and children from the sex trade/trafficking business. (www.newlightindia.org)
Specifically, New Light sponsors two centers in the Red Light District for babies through age 18, provides care, health care, meals, and tutoring. In the case of 40 children, this is their home. New Light also has a home for 35 girls to live outside of the red light district and a home for young women who attend college or work. They are expanding to house victims of rape and trafficking.
New Light retrains prostitutes and sex trade workers, and provides medical care for them, while providing micro loans and training to assist young women with small businesses. On an annual basis, New Light serves over 1000 individuals. New Light is in the process of establishing a home from young boys, so that they, too, can leave the red light district.
Simply put, Urmi is a modern day Mother Teresa. Perhaps not so coincidentally, New Light is housed minutes away from where Mother Teresa worked in Kolkata. Urmi and New Light were featured in the New York Times bestseller, “Half the Sky”, Urmi’s work with New Light has been featured in several op ed pieces by Nick Kristoff, and New Light and Urmi are featured in a 30 minute segment in the PBS documentary “Half the Sky”.