In 2012, Kamal and her husband Krushna were on their way to a city more than 700 miles away from home.
They had just packed up their two small children, Millu and Jilly, and headed towards what they hoped would be a new life, promising jobs, and the gift of a bright future for their family.
After they arrived, they discovered this new “opportunity” was nothing short of a nightmare.
Send rescue to families trapped in violence and slavery.
Instead of honest work for decent pay, Kamal and Krushna found themselves in a brick kiln, forced to begin work at 3:00am each morning, molding and hauling heavy clay bricks throughout the day.
Even worse—the kiln owner gave a rope to the couple and ordered them to bind their youngest child to a tree to prevent him from running around and breaking bricks.
After enduring all of this, the family was paid a meagre amount of 300 Rupees (about $4)—barely enough to survive.
“It was so frustrating to live in bondage!” Krushna told us.
When IJM discovered that dozens of people were trapped in slavery at the brick kiln, we took the evidence to the local government. But the owner soon got wind of the pending operation, and it became a race to rescue the families before they were hidden away.
On December 20, 2012, when a team of IJM staff, police and government officials showed up to rescue the families, all eight children were missing.
Desperate parents like Krushna and Kamal fell to their hands and knees, begging to be set free and get their children back. Eventually, a brick kiln supervisor confessed to where the children were hidden in another brick kiln. The rescue team moved quickly to reunite the families and bring them to safety.
The head government official worked tirelessly interviewing families and granting release certificates while IJM provided food and comfort to the frightened families.
Finally, after a long night of waiting Kamal, Krushna, Millu and Jilly were free to live as a family.
“These families had waited in desperation,” said Saju Mathew, IJM’s Vice President of Operations in South Asia. “It was a gift to us to be a part of this rescue operation, just days before Christmas. Their long-awaited freedom is a reminder of the meaning of this joyful season.”
IJM continued to support the legal case against the brick kiln owner who enslaved Krushna and Kamal, until he and his supervisor were convicted in January 2016 and sentenced to two years in prison.
After their rescue, they quickly found jobs in their home community that paid a fair wage. Their income was enough to buy cows, goats and chickens and send Millu and Jilly to a local school and receive special tutoring. Because of selfless supporters like you, Kamal, Krushna and their children are thriving.
“What we have today is more than we’ve ever had!” – Krushna, survivor of slavery
There are more than 40 million women, men and children trapped in slavery today and still waiting for freedom. In other parts of the words, many are suffering from crippling violence like sexual abuse and land theft. You can make it possible for us to find them, bring them rescue and give them a brighter future.