Train Passenger’s Tweet Saves 26 Girls From Human Trafficking


A single tweet from a passenger on a train saved 26 girls from being exploited by human traffickers.

Adarsh Shrivastava was travelling through the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh last week when he became aware of a peculiar situation on his train.

In his carriage were 26 girls, all between the ages of 10 and 14, who were acting oddly, appearing uncomfortable, restless and nervous.

Sensing something wasn’t right, Adarsh sent a tweet out to the Indian railway authorities.

He said:

I am travelling in Avadh express(19040). in s5. in my coach their are 25 girls all are juvenile some of them are crying and all feeling unsecure. [sic]

Adarsh added:

subject to human trafficking )my current station is Hari Nagar my next station is BAGAHA and then Gorakhpur.kindly help them out. Please help.

Within half an hour later the Ministry of Railways had alerted local rail authorities. A few stops later, plainclothes officers reportedly boarded the train, arrested two men and took the young girls into custody, the Daily Dot reports.

As the girls could not provide the authorities with details about their parents or guardians, they were later transferred to state child welfare authorities, who are currently working to reconnect them with their rightful guardians.

The Indian Railway Protection Force (RPF) believe the girls were all from West Champaran in Bihar, located in north-east India.

As the Hindustan Times reports, a statement from the RPF said:

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.

The girls are believed to be between the ages of 10 and 14 years.

Their parents have been informed and the men have been taken into custody.

Since the story went public, and news of his quick-thinking spread, Adarsh has been receiving a lot of praise on social media.

However, in response, Adarsh has simply said:

Thanks but as a sitizen of India it’s our responsibility to help people [sic]

India has a sad history of human trafficking. According to Reuters, almost 20,000 women and children were victims of human trafficking in India in 2016. This figure was up 25 per cent from the previous year.

Police officials said the rise in figures was because of an increase in public awareness surrounding the crime, as more trafficking-related crimes were reported.

A senior police official from Delhi said:

It’s difficult to claim these crimes are rising dramatically. I think more victims are coming forward and reporting because of more information about trafficking. Government and civil society groups are doing campaigns and people are also seeing more cases being reported in the media.

Street scene in IndiaPixabay

India, and South Asia as a whole, is one of the world’s worst regions for human-trafficking. Thousands of people, usually poor women and children from rural areas, are lured to towns and cities by traffickers who promise them employment, but then sell them into modern day slavery.

If you suspect human trafficking, call the police on 999 if it’s an emergency, or 101 if it is not urgent.

You can also call the Modern Day Slavery Foundation’s helpline on 0800 0121 700, open 24 hours a day.