Where there’s a problem, there’s a solution. Kindness is a kind of solution. It can sometimes change a person’s life. We don’t need to act like a hero or an angel, but that we should all choose the kindness whenever we can. Small kind actions gathering together can build a better world.
Meet Ajeet Singh, the founder of Guria, India’s NGO against human trafficking and forced prostitution. The Indian man and his organization have saved thousands from captivity. And, his story has inspired millions of people over the world.
When Ajeet was 17 years old, he met a young nautch dancer at a party who turned out to be a prostitute
When Ajeet was 17 years old and still in college, he met a young nautch dancer, performing for the guests, at a cousin’s party who turned out to be a prostitute. Historically, nautch was a popular Indian court dance that symbolized grace and elegance and was performed by girls. Before that, it was a devotional dance performed in temples for spiritual reasons only.
“I felt really bad about the way people were behaving towards her,” Ajeet said at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference on modern slavery. “I waited for the whole night until I could talk to her.”
However, nautch girls nowadays are shunned as prostitutes. And guests at the party were treating that nautch dancer as one. Ajeet felt bad about it, so he waited until the party ended to talk to her in hopes of helping her get out of such a life. The young man eventually found out that she was a mother of three, making him want to help them even more.
Ajeet also learned that the nautch girl had 3 kids and needed help, so he decided to adopt her kids and raise them
“I thought, what if I adopted her children,” Ajeet said. “And that was the beginning.” The 17-year-old Ajeet began teaching the kids in his spare time away from college. This helped provide them with the opportunity to study to gain knowledge, and to break free from the vicious cycle, as is often the case given the context, in hopes of creating a new life for them.
Some years later, Ajeet officially founded an organization called Guria. with the hopes of fighting sexual exploitation of women and children. Specifically, it aims to prevent human trafficking and unsafe migration, to end child prostitution, and to prevent second generation prostitution.
Ajeet taught the adopted kids during his spare time, providing an opportunity to turn their lives around and break the vicious cycle given the context
Guria aims to achieve this by ending victimized women’s and children’s dependency on criminal organizations involved in drugs and sexual exploitation, providing them with opportunities to better their lives through education, health, emotional support, vocational training throughout their new lives.
Since founded, Guria has managed to save over 2470 persons from slavery, including commercial sexual exploitation and bonded labor and over 150 children have adopted alternative sources of livelihood outside the red-light area, all thanks to Ajeet’s initiative.
Soon, Ajeet established an NGO that aims to fight sexual exploitation of women and children
According to Guria’s website, the organization is currently supporting the education and vocational training of over 5400 children, of which 460 have been admitted to formal schools. The total children supported now is over 6800.
This is besides all of the committees, campaigns, events, and organizations against human trafficking and sexual exploitation that it has established since the founding of the organization in 1993.
Since establishment in 1993, Ajeet and his organization saved nearly 2,500 people from sex trafficking
According to the UN’s estimates, there are over 660,000 prostitutes in India—second only to Congo with over 2.9 million. Further estimates reveal that there might be at least around 8 million people living in modern slavery in India.
According to Ajeet himself, there are 3 million women within the sex industry in India, of which around 40% are children. Around 75% of these minors enter the sex trade through traficking.
Ajeet and his organization provided over 5,400 kids with an education and the total children count supported by the organization now is over 6,800.