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Rag Picker's Transformation: 'Untouchable' Meets Christ

Roopa Raju, an 18-year-old Indian girl who picked trash by day, by night was forced to sell her body. Find out what happened when she encountered the Man from Nazareth. Read Transcript


Reporter: IT'S BEEN

SAID THE MOST BEAUTIFUL

PEOPLE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE

KNOWN DEFEAT, KNOWN

SUFFERING, KNOWN STRUGGLE,

AND HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY OUT

OF THE DEPTHS.

RUPA RAJU IS ONE OF THEM.

I HAVE HAD A DIFFICULT

LIFE SINCE MY CHILDHOOD, AND

EXPERIENCED MORE HORRIBLE

THINGS THAN MOST PEOPLE MY

AGE.

Reporter: AT A YOUNG

AGE, RUPA WAS FORCED BY HER

PARENTS TO JOIN THE RANKS OF

INDIA'S SO-CALLED RAG

PICKERS.

THESE ARE MEN, WOMEN, AND

YOUNG CHILDREN WHO RUMMAGE

THROUGH FATALITY GARBAGE

HEAPS IN THE CITY OF INDIA,

LOOKING FOR ANYTHING THAT

CAN BE RECYCLED AND SOLD,

PLASTICS, BOTTLES, METAL

PARTS, ROTTEN, DISCARDED

FOOD.

MY DAY STARTED AT 4:00 OR

5:00 IN THE MORNING AND I

PICKED TRASH FOR 10 TO 12

HOURS.

Reporter: ON A GOOD

DAY, SHE WOULD EARN ABOUT

$2.

AND THAT WAS A GOOD DAY.

HERE ON THE STREETS, WHERE

DOGS WERE HER ONLY COMPANION

AND MILLIONS OF SWIMMERING

MAMAGGOTS, FLIES, RATS, AND

CROWS ARE CONSTANT

DISTRACTION.

SHE WOULD COMPETE WITH OTHER

RARAT PICKERS FOR A FEW

SCRAPS.

WHEN I GOT OLDER, MY

MOTHER TOLD ME I WASN'T

BRINGING IN ENOUGH TRASH, SO

I WAS FORCED TO SLEEP WITH

MEN.

SHE DESCRIBES THE RAGE

SHE FELT TOWARDS HER

PARENTS.

I FELT LIKE RUNNING

AWAY.

I WAS ANGRY.

I WANTED TO KILL THEM.

I WANTED SOMETHING TERRIBLE

TO HAPPEN TO THEM.

Reporter: RUPA IS A

DELUT, OR SO-CALLED

UNTOUCHABLE.

INDIAN SOCIETY LABELS DELUTS

LESS THAN HUMAN.

AND LIKE RUPA, MANY OF THOSE

YOUNG GIRLS END UP AS

PROSTITUTES OR END UP IN

TRAFFICKING.

BUT THAT'S IN THE TRASH.

AND TODAY IS ALL SMILES.

I CANNOT EVEN EXPLAIN TO

YOU WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN MY

LIFE.

Reporter: SHE HAS GOD

AND GINA TO THANK FOR THIS

TRANSFORMATION.

WE REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO

THIS NIGHT BECAUSE WE SEE

OUR WOMEN BEING

EMANCIPATED.

>

Reporter: SHE RUNS A

CHRISTIAN MINISTRY THAT

TAKES IN, REHABILITATES, AND

EMPOWERS SCORES OF YOUNG

WOMEN AT RISK.

ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, RUPA

CAME TO THE CENTER LOOKING

FOR HELP.

HERE SHE GOT COUNSELLING,

LEARNED HOW TO SPEAK ANK

SPEAK ENGLISH, AND TOOK

CLASSES, AND EVENTUALLY HAD

HER DIGNITY RESTORED.

AND SHE ALSO MET DOZENS OF

OTHER WOMEN LIKE HERSELF WHO

HAD SIMILAR LIFE

EXPERIENCES.

POOH.

WHAT I LIKE TO

COMMUNICATE TO THEM IS I

WOULD NEVER, EVER GIVE UP ON

ANY OF THOSE WOMEN, NO

MATTER HOW MANY TIMES THEY

FALL, BECAUSE I KNOW IT IS A

STRUGGLE FOR THEM.

Reporter: IT IS JUST A

HANDFUL OF CHRISTIAN

MINISTRIES OPERATING HERE IN

INDIA, TRYING DESPERATELY TO

RESCUE HUNDREDS OF WOMEN

FROM HUMAN TRAFFICLY AND

SEXUAL BONDAGE.

FOR MANY OF THESE WOMEN,

SUCH MINISTRIES ARE A

LIFELINE TO A BETTER

FUTURE.

RUPA SAYS IT WAS AT THE

CENTER SHE DISCOVERED WITH

GREAT DELIGHT HER WORTH IN

GOD'S EYES.

I COME FROM A HINDU

BACKGROUND.

I KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT

JESUS CHRIST.

WHEN I CAME HERE, I STARTED

READING THE BIBLE, AND I

STARTED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT

FREEDOM REALLY MEANS AND

WHAT I MEAN TO GOD.

Reporter: IT IS THE

BIBLE'S VIEW OF THEM THAT

BRINGS LASTING

TRANSFORMATION.

THEY CAN'T BELIEVE IT

BECAUSE ALL OF THESE YEARS

THEY'VE BEEN TOLD THEY ARE

LOWER THAN ANIMALS, AND HERE

WE ARE TELLING THEM THEY ARE

CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF

GOD.

AND THAT JUST HITS HIM.

THAT JUST BLOWS THEM AWAY.

Reporter: ON A RECENT

FRIDAY EVENING, RUPA JOINED

105 WOMEN ON STAGE FOR A

GRADUATION CEREMONY

HONOURING THEIR COMPLETION

OF AN 18th MONTH COURSE.

AND SITTING IN THE AUDIENCE

WAS RUPA'S MOTHER AND

FATHER.

THE CENTER HAS DONE A

GREAT JOB.

MY DAUGHTER IS A DIFFERENT

PERSON.

I FEEL BAD FOR THE THINGS

WE DID TO HER.

BUT NOW I WANT HER TO STUDY

WELL AND HAVE A GOOD

FUTURE.

Reporter: AND PERHAPS

IT IS THIS IMAGE OF RUPA

HOLDING HER FATHER'S HAND

THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES OF ONE

LIFE TRANSFORMED BY THE

POWER OF THE GOSPEL.

SHE TOLD CBN NEWS LATER SHE

HAS FORGIVEN HER PARENTS FOR

FORCING HER INTO

PROSTITUTION.

EVERY NIGHT BEFORE I GO

TO BED, I THANK GOD FOR THE

CENTER.

I THANK GOD FOR RESCUING

FROM MY PAST.

Reporter: THESE DAYS,

SHE WORKS AS A CONFIDENT

SALES ASSISTANT IN A LARGE

DEPARTMENT STORE LOCATED ON

THE MOST FAMOUS STREET IN

THE CITY.

THE SAME STREET WHERE SHE

ONCE PICKED TRASH.

HER REAL DESIRE, THOUGH, IS

TO MINISTER TO BROKEN AND

ABUSED WOMEN.

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO

TOOK CARE OF ME AND SHOWED

LOVE TO ME.

I WANT TO DO THE SAME FOR

OTHERS.

THAT WILL MAKE ME HAPPY.

Reporter: GEORGE

THOMAS, CBN NEWS, BANGALORE,

INDIA.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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