R. A. Dickey, the Mets pitcher, will climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for one of Wellspring International’s projects, Bombay Teen Challenge. Read Sruthi Gottipati’s complete New York Times article on Dickey and BTC here.
An American baseball player scaling an African mountain for an Indian charity might seem an odd way to draw attention to human trafficking.
But that’s just what R.A. Dickey is doing. The Mets pitcher is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, which peaks at more than 19,000 feet above sea level (and documenting it on Bats, The New York Times’ Baseball blog) in part to bring awareness and money to stop sexual slavery thousands of miles away in the gritty lanes of Kamathipura – Mumbai’s largest red light district.
About 100,000 to 200,000 women and girls are working in brothels in Mumbai, according to the latest government estimates, which are a decade old. Activists say the number has since reduced to 75,000 to 100,000 in the city.
“As I am the father of two daughters, ages 9 and 8, the thought of my own being subjected to the atrocities that happen every day in the brothels and on the streets of Kamathipura is heartbreaking,” Mr. Dickey wrote for the New York Times baseball blog.
The money will be used to build a fully equipped clinic in Kamathipura that would offer health screenings, antiretroviral drugs, and counseling to sex workers.
Since Mr. Dickey stepped into the picture in May of 2010, Bombay Teen Challenge has met half its fund-raising goal, said the organization’s founder, K. K. Devaraj.
Read Sruthi Gottipati’s complete New York Times article on Dickey and BTC here.