Kolkata, May 6: 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.
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 details and significance of the performance from Sohini Chakraborty, founder of Kolkata Sanved, an NGO looking after victims of human trafficking.
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, known for her initiatives to promote women’s empowerment.
Chakraborty, a sociologist and dance activist, told her how dance therapy helped the girls return to the mainstream by healing the agony and psychological trauma they had endured in the past.
Clinton, a former US first lady, also went to some of the women and appreciated their performance.
She then spoke to some victims of trafficking, seeking to know the ordeal they had undergone and offered them words of comfort.
The girls, 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.
Clinton, who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a two-day visit, was also shown handcrafted items made by the girls.
Clinton also met representatives of other NGOs, including Aapne Aap Foundation and Prantakatha that also deal with victims of trafficking.
Strict security measures, under the supervision of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, was put in place for the event.