On February 12, 2016, David Punnamannil and a team of fellow Trinity Western University students from British Columbia, Canada, launched ‘Lighthouse Voyage’, a non-profit organisation committed to rescue trafficked women and girls from the Indian brothels.
David Punnamannil, a 23 year old student from Langley, Canada, launched a new charitable organisation called ‘Lighthouse Voyage’, which invites artists and musicians willing to donate their work to help raise money for rescuing the captured and trafficked women and girls from Indian brothels.
The works are donated to Lighthouse Voyage by the artists and then they are sold on its website to raise funds.
David was in north India two years ago for five months to work with two local non-profit organisations – Mercy Missions and Believers Active Mission, which rescue trafficked girls and women from brothels and slums. He was shocked by the condition of the brothels, where girls as young as four were sold for the prostitution business.
“One owner pulled out this huge ledger book where he had all the names and ages of the girls, and how many times they had been used. He looked like an accountant or something. And he had a price range depending on the age,” Punnamannil, whose family immigrated to Canada from India in 2000, informed the Vancouver Sun, a daily newspaper in Vancouver.
He said they could not rescue the young children because owners won’t sell them as they make most of the money off them. “To get a young child out you need to go to extreme measure and capture them, and that too can endanger lives,” he added.
With the help of the organisations, he successfully released three women and a young girl from a brothel for which they had to pay approximately INR 10,000 (EUR 132) for each recue. After their release, the women were taken to a safe house, where they received medical treatments, rehabilitation, and were taught sewing and writing to help them find work.
The experience made David realise that he had to something to help the enslaved women and children, and he decided to launch Lighthouse Voyage along with his friends, which was registered with the federal government in December 2015.
All donations made to the Lighthouse voyage are transferred to Mercy Missions and Believers Active Mission as they passionately work to rescue women and children in India.