In India, Oasis has been running projects for people living on the streets for the past twenty years, including a project that operated on the platform of one of the main railway stations in Mumbai.
One woman who regularly attended the drop-in centre that Oasis ran was called Shilpa. She was in her early twenties and had learning difficulties. During the nights she was a sex worker on the side of the road, but during the day she would come and laugh and play and be part of the Oasis community.
One day she got pregnant and we helped her as she prepared for her baby to arrive.
Unfortunately, as the time to give birth approached she was beaten badly on the station platform and the baby died. A little time later she became pregnant again and this time the hospital treated her so badly that she ran away in the middle of labour and gave birth on the station roof.
Amazingly the baby survived and Shilpa had a little daughter to care for. This was very difficult for her, but we helped her and for two years she ate and stayed with Oasis in the drop-in centre, preferring to go back and sleep on the street at night.
Then, suddenly the little two-year-old girl disappeared. Shilpa said that she had been kidnapped, but the people living on the station platform said that Shilpa had sold her, something she always denied.
Shilpa’s daughter could have been sold into adoption, but there was also a growing trade of trafficking very young girls into prostitution. We continued to try and stop such trafficking happening, but we never saw the little girl again. We are still motivated in the fight against human trafficking by her memory.