Commentary


Today Film Article

Published by TODAY, Singapore’s second most-read newspaper, on 28th July 2016. Here is the online version.

Advertisements

Last night, I watched the movie, “Untouchable: Children of God.” The documentary highlights the absolute and total atrocity of human trafficking that happens right under our nose – under our watch. Yeah, by doing nothing, we let it happen.

10730936_10152843531966369_3625538018808671415_n

This documentary, which won the 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival Humanitarian Prize, highlights the depravity that we have allowed to thrive in India and Nepal (in other countries too – but the focus of the documentary was on these two countries). The movie is raising awareness of the sex trade or more accurately, modern-day slavery, and galvanising people to action.

Men are the biggest problem – not man as in humanity – but men as in male, boy, guy. I like what the director/producer said in the movie. I paraphrase because I didn’t copy it down so apologies, Grant. Addressing the men, he said something along the lines of:

“If you’ve ever trafficked women, you’re part of the problem. If you’ve ever paid for sex, you’re part of the problem. If you’ve ever viewed pornography, you’re part of the problem. If you’ve supported or played games that denigrates and desecrates the sanctity of women, you’re part of the problem.”

Present at the screening were the director, Grant Knisely, Pastor Raju Sundas from the Lighthouse Foundation Nepal (LHFN) and two girls who were rescued out of the dark pit hell of whorehouses (pictured below). LHFN rescues girls from this dastardly business, heals them, educates them, trains them – but most importantly, accepts and loves them unconditionally – and gives them hope for their futures.

untouchable2 While the rescue work must continue, prevention is the main aim. As Pastor Raju shared, when they rescue a girl, they have to work with her for 5 to 7 years, sometimes more, to restore her emotionally, spiritually and physically.

A mere 1% of the enslaved girls are rescued. They are often sold into the sex trade by their families – fathers, brothers, relatives – men who are supposed to love and protect them. Some as young as five years old – yes, five.

untouchable3

 

But I want to end with the sharing of the two girls who were at the screening. They moved me to tears – really. Rather than being defeated and cowered, they want to make a difference. They want to rescue their “sisters” still caught in the brothels to be abused and humiliated by men.

They want to be light in the dark places. They want to shine the light of God into the pit of hell.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5 (NLT)

To help the girls, go to Out of Ashes which is a charitable non-profit organisation dedicated to fight human trafficking and sex-slavery especially on the Indian sub-continent and in South East Asia:

www.outofashes.org

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/outofashes1?fref=ts

 

 

Recently, I’ve noticed two distinct camps on social media. Those defending the government voraciously while ravenously attacking the opposition vs. those attacking the government aggressively while enthusiastically defending any form of opposition.

My personal preference is moderation. Regardless of the good that we think the government has done, e.g. nation-building, low crime rate, etc.  (the former camp) or the shortcomings, e.g. overcrowding, cost of living (the latter camp), I prefer not to take camps and instead objectively think and politely engage.

I say this because, as a born-Singaporean, if I question (not even criticise) government policies, I run the risk of being labelled “ungrateful.” If I defend government policy, I run the risk of being labelled a “brainwashed minion”.

In this environment, civil discourse can often become difficult.

I’d prefer to take ideologies and partisan sentiments out of the equation and discuss the issues objectively. Then, whomever is to be taken to task, should be alerted. If the majority are not happy, there is the election process. (OK, I admit GRC makes the democratic process a little challenging).

I’d like to have a civil discourse without the flaming. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a wimp but I’m guessing more people with become engaged in a tempered environment.

A newsreader from CtiTV News in Taipei finds out as she is reading a breaking news item, in real-time, that her friend and colleague has died. She admirably maintains her professionalism but this is gut-wrenching to watch.

(Watch on Youtube and turn on captions for subtitles).

I’ve read many Upworthy, Buzzfeedy, Huffposty pieces about 5 habits of creative people or 8 things creative people do in the morning or 11 books creative people should read  or the colour of socks creative people wear or types of coffee creative people drink or the more generic 25 characteristics of highly creative people.

After reading and digesting all these lists, coupled with empirical observation, I conclude that there is one habit of highly creative people:

They Create

 

 

 

 

Read it here:

http://www.salt.org.sg/big-brother-is-not-watching-you-everyone-else-is/