Train passenger’s tweets save 26 Indian girls who were being trafficked
Child trafficking, Girls' education
The girls were rescued by police in India, where thousands of children are trafficked each year away from their families, education and future.
A group of young Indian girls were rescued from the clutches of child traffickers – when a passenger on a train started tweeting about their plight.
Adarsh Shrivastava was travelling in a train carriage that was packed with 26 girls aged from 10 to 14. Most of them looked distressed and some were crying. So he used his phone to send a Twitter message to authorities – also tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior government ministers.
The railways ministry saw his tweet and alerted the railways police, who coordinated with Childline. Shrivastava also gave details of his location in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
Further down the line, police officers got on the train, arrested two men and rescued the 26 girls. They were taken into the care of child welfare authorities.
When he was praised for his quick-thinking efforts, Shrivastava said: “Thanks, but as a citizen of India it’s our responsibility to help people.”
The rescue comes after India’s railways ministry launched an awareness campaign last month about children who are trafficked or have run away from their families.
More than 9000 Indian children were victims of child trafficking in 2016, according to the government. Many are tricked into thinking they are getting jobs in the cities but are then transported to other parts of the country or abroad.
Child trafficking occurs when children are taken away from safety and exploited. Children who are trafficked are often forced into some form of work, used for sex or simply sold.
Many are also denied the chance to reach their full potential because they don’t get an education or have the freedom to make their own choices.
July 30 is World Day against Trafficking in Persons – when the spotlight is shone on a problem that affects every country, not just in the developing world.