The world is plagued by many problems. Issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic are just the tip of the iceberg as there are also many other social, economic, peace and security, human rights, as well as many other types of problems still waiting to be resolved.

But where there’s a problem, there’s a solution.

Meet Ajeet Singh, the founder of Guria, India’s NGO against human trafficking and forced prostitution, who comes with his own inspiring story that has led him and his organization to save thousands from captivity.

When Ajeet was 17, he met a young nautch dancer at a party who turned out to be a prostitute

Image credits: Guria UK

When Ajeet was 17 years old and still in college, he was attending a cousin’s party that had a dancer, a “nautch girl”, performing for the guests. Historically, nautch was a popular court dance performed by girls in India that symbolized grace and elegance. 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 were treating this dancer as one. Ajeet felt bad about the way they were behaving towards her, so he waited the entire night to talk to her in hopes of helping her get out of such a life. He eventually found out that she was a mother of three, making Ajeet want to help them even more.

He also learned that she had 3 kids and wanting to help, he decided to adopt and raise them

Image credits: theindiaphile

“I thought, what if I adopted her children,” Ajeet said. “And that was the beginning.” He began teaching them in his spare time away from college, thus providing 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 took the next logical step and founded an organization called Guria with the aim 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 them during his spare time, providing an opportunity to turn their lives around and break the vicious cycle given the context

Image credits: Guria India

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 Ajeet founded Guria, the organization 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, he established an NGO that aims to fight sexual exploitation of women and children

Image credits: Guria India

According to Guria’s website, it 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

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The UN estimates that there are over 660,000 prostitutes in India—second only to Congo, which is estimated to have over 2.9 million. Further estimates reveal that there might be at least around 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. It doesn’t help that India is infamous for its culture of violence and abuse against women.

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.

His organization provided over 5,400 kids with an education and the total children count supported by the organization now is over 6,800

Image credits: Guria India

Unfortunately, it’s not just India that has a problem with this but the whole world. Bored Panda has covered a story of a group of retired navy seals who now spend their days preventing child trafficking in the United States. They have saved 238 children from being trafficked so far.

Along with his wife Santwana Manju, Ajeet continues to run the 36-member organization, fighting off human trafficking by raiding brothels to rescue children trapped inside and confronting human traffickers and pursuing legal cases on behalf of the victims. Needless to say, confronting criminals on the front line ain’t easy, so consider donating to help the cause. Guria staff have been physically and verbally abused and both Ajeet and his wife have received death threats. But, they march on because the mission is more important.

“We strongly believe that it is not charity that is wanting in the world – it is justice to make a humane world where all beings co-exist in harmony,” notes Guria’s website.

He now runs the NGO together with his wife Santwana Manju

Image credits: Guria UK

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below!

Image credits: Guria UK