Hillary meets victims of human trafficking in Kolkata (Lead)May 6th, 2012 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, May 6 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interacted with young women rescued from human traffickers and listened keenly to their tales in her first programme after arriving in this eastern Indian metropolis Sunday.
She later met representatives of several non-governmental organisations working towards preventing human trafficking and praised them for their work and also offered to help them.
Clad in a dark suit, Clinton, 64, also clapped enthusiastically during a four-minute welcome dance by the women at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ Rabindranath Tagore Centre.
She encouraged the performers and asked about the details and the significance of the dance from Sohini Chakraborty, founder of Kolkata Sanved, an NGO looking after victims of human trafficking.
“She thoroughly enjoyed the show and greeted the girls. She said she was very excited to see them perform,” Chakrabarty, who directed the show, told IANS.
The seven-member dance troupe had been practicing round-the-clock for the dance which gave a glimpse of India’s rich heritage to Clinton, who is known for her initiatives to promote women’s empowerment.
Clinton then spoke to some victims of trafficking who, wonderstruck at finding one of the world’s most powerful persons in their midst, narrated their journey to a new dawn from the nightmare they had experienced.
Later, she held a closed-door meeting with representatives of NGOs.
“She is a very warm person. She was very happy with our work and congratulated us saying keep up the spirit. She enquired about the problems the NGOs were facing and also inspired us with her words.
“She reached out to all with her kind and encouraging words and even offered her help saying: ‘I will look into how I can help you people’,” Chakrabarty said.
The former US first lady spent around 40 minutes at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ Rabindranath Tagore Centre in central Kolkata, talking to representatives of nine NGOs who had set up stalls displaying their work.
Clinton, who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a two-day visit, was also shown handcrafted items made by the women.
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