"On 2 December 2014 the Global Freedom Network (GFN) will bring together faith leaders forming a historic initiative to eradicate modern slavery by 2020 throughout our world and for all time."That is fanstastic! All religious leaders united against the exploitation of man by man, is surely one of the most fabulous milestone in mankind's history. What are they supposed to do in order to fulfill this beautiful plan?
"They will sign the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery to underline that modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, organ trafficking, and any relationship that fails to respect the fundamental conviction that all people are equal and have the same freedom and dignity, is a crime against humanity, and must be recognised as such by everyone and by all nations. They affirm their common commitment to inspiring spiritual and practical action by all faiths and people of goodwill everywhere to eradicate modern slavery"Action. That's it. Amma always promotes action. The motto of Embracing The World is "Compassion in action". Action is essential in her organization. May we suggest that she starts acting in her own organization?
Indeed, every two years Amma flies to Kenya to bestow Her Darshan on Africa. This tour is organized by Karuturi, the owner of the biggest rose farm of the world. She wanders in the flower fields with her staff. She blesses the crops and business with Her Holy Presence. Does the omniscient Goddess knows that the labourers who work in the farm are treated like slaves? Let's have a quick overview of the kind of horrors that happen daily at the very place where Her Holiness the Embodiment of Love grants forth blessings and darshans :
"The workday ends at dusk. For twelve hours of work, they make less than 40 Kenyan shillings, roughly 0.33 euros a day"
"Some of the neighbourhoods are built by the company. In exchange, they deduct rent and utilities from the employees’ salaries"
"the neighbourhood constructed for its workers has no electricity as a result of a default on payments: Sher Karuturi alleges it has financial problems that contrast with the millions in profits it claims to earn annually from the sale of flowers."
"The hospital, paid by the company and which provided services to the workers, is no longer operating because of the lack of electricity"
"when a labourer gets sick, the health centre doesn’t provide him or her with the medical report; it is sent to the company"
"Structure would be fundamental in an environment that lacks the appropriate material to work in plantations full of fertilisers and pesticides. The first symptoms are dizziness and skin diseases, but the workers, Ojimbi reports, don’t have access to basic palliative treatment"
"The flowers need to be attractive. Otherwise, they lose all their market value. The former Dutch owners treated them and hid the evidence. “Now with the Indians we don’t even have the hospital”"
"sex abuse cases and pointed out incidents in which the overseers asked for sexual favours from potential female labourers in exchange for a job"Working for $0.41 in exchange for 12 hours of hard work under the sun each day, being denied electricity, not having access to one's own medical report, being poisoned while lacking basic health treatment, suffering from sexual assault to have the right to work. If this is not modern slavery then what is it? The former owners of the farm were slavers, then colonialists. Obviously slavery never ended in this farm. The situation is even worst nowadays because medical assistance is not provided anymore.
How can Her Holiness bless such cruelty and have the gall to sign a declaration, swearing that she will commit to eradicate slavery from the world? The last paragraph of Vatican City's press release can help to solve the riddle :
"The Global Freedom Network has outlined six fields of action for achieving its vision. These include mobilising faith based communities, supply chain proofing to promote ethical purchasing arrangements, improving the care for victims and survivors, advocating for law reforms and enforcement, facilitating and promoting education and awareness, and securing sizeable funds in order to carry out its task""supply chain", "purchasing", "sizeable funds"... All good things to set the Thugging Saint into action. Once again the faithful believers are prompted to give away their money to save the world. Donate or buy, choice is yours. As long as you open your wallet the "leaders" will take good care of your contribution. We keep on giving. The more we give, the more we must give. It's neverending. Where do we go wrong? Anyway, The Amritasatyamayi Team cannot wait to see how Karuturi's rose farm will look like in 2020, the supposedly year or the end of modern slavery.