Many Indians become victims of human trafficking in their desire to live the great American dream. This is what Harold D’Souza, Indian American activist and member of US President Barack Obama’s advisory council on human trafficking spoke at the Alumni Meet.
Currently based in Cincinnati, Harold who hails from India had completed his M.Com, LL.B and PGD HRD from MSU. “He is coming exclusively to attend this meet and we are privileged to have him as our guest of honour,” said Dr Rupali Ambadkar, coordinator of Alumni Afairs Cell of Faculty of commerce, adding that very few know that Harold has done his SSC from Convent of Jesus and Mary and completed 11th and 12th from Rosary School, Vadodara.
“I have come across many individuals from India who face lot of difficulties, struggle and have to make sacrifices. These things do not surface as there is a stigma attached to it,” said Harold. “It is hard to believe that the person serving you dinner, doing your house keeping in a motel, pumping gas or selling you a carton of milk in the local convenience store might be a victim of human trafficking. That’s part of what makes stopping this crime so difficult. Modern slavery is almost invisible, yet it exists in communities across America,” spoke Activist Harold who is determined to combat human trafficking.
“Human trafficking business was estimated at US $9.8 billion in United States and globally US $32 billion in 2005. Profits of human trafficking were estimated at US $96 billion globally in 2014 according to a study released by the Ricky Martin Foundation,” said Indian American Harold, who as a survivor of human trafficking and is now spreading awareness on this issue.
Harold shared, “Today, I am fortunate to be a voice for human trafficking victims and survivors. In December, President Barack Obama appointed me to the historic U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Now, trafficking survivors have a formal voice and structure for providing recommendations to the U.S. government to strengthen federal policies and programs addressing human trafficking. I will advocate for better prevention policies, and for greater investment in making certain, trafficking survivors receive the services they need to fully recover. I will also continue to work in America – to bring human trafficking out of the shadows, and to encourage trafficking victims to trust in our community to help them, and to realize that it’s the perpetrator of human trafficking – not their victims – who should be afraid”.
The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Ttrafficking in Persons (PITF) is focused on four priority areas; rule of law, victim services, procurement and supply chains, public awareness and outreach. Harold says; “Always follow your gut and seek outside help. Call the Greater Cincinnati Human Trafficking Hotline: 513-800-1863, or the National Hotline: 888-373-7888 (or text “HELP” or “INFO” to SMS: 233733)”.
While Harold was guest of honour, royal scion Samarjitsinh Gaekward was the chief guest at the meet that witnessed presence of well-known sportspersons, entrepreneurs, businessmen, educationist media personalities among others.
The Faculty of Commerce organized a public lecture by Harold D’Souza – “You cannot predict your future, but you can create your futue”.
During his flying visit, Harold interacted with students and was felicitated by; Convent of Jesus and Mary School, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Urmi School, Tulu Sanga Baroda, Vadodara Municipal Corporation – Mayor, Bharat Dangar, Vadodara International Marathon – as Torch Bearer, attended by Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, St Joseph’s P.U College, Bajpe and others.
Harold has definitely exemplified; what the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.