Our intuition tells us what to do long before our heads manage to figure it out, yet we often ignore those instincts out of fear of acting without proof and making a mistake.
In early July, a man traveling across India on a train couldn’t help but notice a group of girls sitting in the same train car as him. His intuition told him something sinister was going on, and thankfully, he decided to listen to those instincts even though he had no actual proof…
A Long Journey
On July 5, 2018, an Indian man was traveling on an Awadh Express train traveling through the Uttar Pradesh, a state in Northern India, on its scheduled 2-day journey from Muzaffarpur Junction to Bandra Terminus all the way on the east coast of the country.
An Unexpected Delay
After boarding the train, the man sat down and made himself comfortable for the long journey ahead of him. At the time, the man had no idea that the train and all the passengers would be forced to endure an unexpected delay all because of something strange he noticed on his carriage…
An Unsettling Observation
After boarding the plane and settling into his seat, it wasn’t long before the man looked around the train car and noticed that the carriage was completely full. Normally, that wouldn’t have been strange at all, but the age of the passengers did seem weird to the man.
The 26 Young Girls
According to the passenger, almost all of the passengers on the train car that he happened to be sitting in were little girls that appeared to be between the ages of about 10 to 14 years old. But that wasn’t the only thing that the observant passenger noticed…
Adarsh, the man traveling on the Awadh Express train, looked around and realized that all the young girls seemed to be upset and scared. According to Adarsh, some of the younger girls were actually in tears.
A Sinister Scheme
No one else seemed to think anything was wrong, but Adarsh couldn’t shake the feeling that something incredibly sinister was going on. Rather than just sit by and let what he believed was going on happen, Adarsh decided to take action…
Victims Of Trafficking
Adarsh got the feeling that the girls, who were clearly in distress may be at risk of being trafficked against their will. While it sounds paranoid, Adarsh knew that human trafficking is tragically all too common throughout India.
A Human Trafficking Problem
Over the years, India has struggled with human trafficking issues specifically for women and children. According to government data, almost 20,000 women and children were trafficked in 2016 alone. About half of those trafficking victims were children…
Lured By False Promises
According to officials, those children are often from poor or rural areas and are often tricked into leaving their homes with complete strangers because they have been promised good jobs in the cities. Sadly, those strangers have no intention of keeping their promises.
The Tragic Reality
Instead, those children are then trafficked and sold to the highest bidder to become slaves, child laborers, sex workers, and child brides. Sometimes the children are adopted to parents who believe the child is an orphan and others are sometimes sent overseas…
Tackling The Issue
In recent years, the government has been making efforts to increase the public’s awareness as well as tackle the trafficking. In June 2018, India’s Railway Board started a campaign to make travelers aware of how vulnerable young children are on the railway network.
So when Adarsh saw a train car full of young girls who looked scared and uncomfortable, he immediately took out his phone, made himself a Twitter account for the first time, and tweeted out a message to officials to notify them about his concern…
A Lifesaving Tweet
In his tweet, Adarsh explained what he saw on his carriage, the number of young girls that seemed to be in distress, as well his current location and the next station the train was currently traveling towards. Adarsh then tagged railway and law enforcement agencies.
“I am traveling in Avadh express(19040). in s5. in my coach their (sic) are 25 girls all are juvenile some of them are crying and all feeling insecure (sic)… my current station is Hari Nagar my next station is Bagaha and then Gorakhpur. Kindly help them out. Please help,” Adarsh tweeted…
An Investigation Begins
Adarsh then tweeted again at rail authorities, the minister for railways, and even the prime minister that he believed the children were in the process of being trafficked. Thankfully, authorities saw Adarsh’s warning and they started investigating the tweets right away.
30 Minutes Later
Within half an hour, two plainclothed officers boarded the train and arrested a 22-year-old man and a 55-year-old man that had brought the group of girls on the train. After that, the officers took the girls to safety, where they could speak to them and figure out what happened…
“26 girls were found with two men, aged 22 and 55 years. All of them are from West Champaran in Bihar. The girls were being taken from Narkatikyaganj to Idgah. When questioned, the girls were unable to answer anything convincingly, so they have been handed over to the child welfare committee,” officials explained.
When questioning the girls, authorities explained that they had all struggled to tell them details about who their parents or guardians were, which was a clear sign that the men that had been arrested for the human trafficking scheme had tried to coach them to lie to anyone if they were ever questioned…
Safe And Sound
Once they were safely in the hands of the child welfare committee, authorities started working to reunite the girls with their families back in West Champaran in Bihar, which is in northeast India. “Their parents have been informed and the men have been taken into custody,” the Railway Protection Force said.
A Humble Hero
After it was reported that Adarsh managed to save all 26 girls with a single tweet, he was quickly hailed as a hero by people across the country and around the world. However, he insists he was just doing the right thing. “Thanks, but as a citizen of India, it’s our responsibility to help people.”