A Vision for NightCare in India
by Sarah Bowling, Founder and CEO of Saving Moses
My recent trip to India was a really powerful experience for me because I got to see and experience- in the flesh- a dream come true. About ten years ago, the idea for NightCare popped into my mind as I was watching a documentary on a large brothel in India. In the documentary, there is a brief snippet of a toddler who is chained to a rail. Immediately I began thinking about the babies and toddlers who are born to sex workers. I wondered what life was like for these small and vulnerable babies. This was the beginning of NightCare.
From the beginning, I wanted to start NightCare in India. When I began exploring this idea, more and more roadblocks started popping up, and I realized I would have to put this location on hold and find a new starting point. It wasn’t until many years and NightCare centers later, that we were finally able to open a center in India in 2019! It was so rewarding to see all the work we had done come to fruition.
In Southeast Asia, we have been doing NightCare for close to a decade, and during this time I have seen and heard what can happen to these babies and toddlers who are born into the sex industry. I’ve heard too many horror stories about babies being on the bed with their mom as she works. Moms in this industry have told me that it’s not uncommon for a client to molest their baby or toddler after they’ve had their transaction with the mom. I’ve been appalled and enraged with some of the things I’ve heard and seen, such that I’m highly motivated to keep growing NightCare!
On this trip, it was an incredible experience to spend my days walking through an extremely large and famous brothel. Mostly, I did my walking in the daytime when I could see toddlers and kids enjoying some sunshine and outdoor fun. Overall, the people (men, women, children) were cordial but reserved- I suspect this is the case because it was obvious that I’m a foreigner. Additionally, over the course of the days, I noticed lots of moms with trailing toddlers or carrying babies. These moms were friendly and encouraged their toddlers to wave back and say hello when I would smile and wave saying hello.
There were a few early evenings as I was leaving the brothel that I was able to get a glimpse of how things in the brothel change at night. It was interesting to see the contrast between the daytime and evening in this neighborhood. During the evenings, the whole area was very busy with women dressed up for work, lining the streets, and trying to hire clients to earn a living. I didn’t see many babies or toddlers out in the streets which made me all the more curious and compelled to continue opening NightCare centers.
In our current center there, it was overwhelmingly fulfilling to see our babies and toddlers well cared for, eating a meal, playing, and deeply sleeping in a very safe and nurturing place. Every night we provide shelter to these babies, we minimize their risk of abuse, being stolen and sold, neglected, and harassed. I truly believe that with NightCare we are rewriting their stories-stories of pain into stories of purpose, freedom, and health.