Surbhi (not her real name), a 21-year-old unmarried girl, was brought into captivity and sexually harassed by a Hindu ‘Baba’ (guru). He hypnotized her so she would not cause trouble, and treated her cruelly. She was raped and beaten almost every day. The “Tantrik” (godman) and his son exploited her and several other women who frequented the Tantrik’s ashram.
Human trafficking is one of the biggest injustices in India today. The National Crime Report in India says that 2.2 billion girls are being trafficked every year, yet only a few perpetrators are arrested. Less than 32% of those arrested are actually convicted of a crime.
After a raid by our team, the Tantrik was arrested. Fortunately, the court found him guilty of human trafficking and he is now in jail with his other female disciples who were co-conspirators to Surbhi’s abuse. Along with Surbhi, five other women and 22 children were rescued from the ashram during the raid.
In 2012, TellAsia started the “Nai-Asha Aftercare Homes” where we care for girls who have been slaves of sexual exploitation or forced labor. So far we have rescued 25 girls from this life of abuse and welcomed them into our two safe homes. Twelve of them are survivors of sex trafficking, and the others had been forced into begging and immoral activities by their parents and relatives.
Now these girls have hope for their future. Our team works very hard to mentor them with love and care. We train them in various skills, enroll them in school, give them counseling for inner healing, and teach them about the Lord. We are amazed to see the way they are healing quickly and making efforts to create a new future for themselves. All the girls are very happy to be at our safe home—the transformation in them is obvious.
Now an aspiring fashion designer, Surbhi is the mother of a 10-month-old baby, conceived during the sexual abuse that she underwent numerous times. Surbhi continues to recover from her painful past, trying to begin life afresh. The injury marks that the man made on her with a knife each time she refused to bow down before him are still very visible on her body.
There are thousands of young girls like Surbhi who have been trapped by traffickers and have lost hope in their lives. We are committed to finding them, rescuing them, and helping them to heal and be able to live a normal life. We ask you to pray for these girls and for the protection of our team as we engage in this very risky task of rescuing captive girls and putting traffickers behind bars.