"The day you realise you are just a speck of dust is the day you will begin living your life the way it should be"
(Ajeet Singh, Guria Director)
Guria’s mission is to eliminate human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. They pursue a holistic, grassroots approach working directly with the women and children affected to provide education, healthcare and livelihood support as well as rescuing and rehabilitating victims, raising awareness and prosecuting human traffickers.
Guria’s story began when Ajeet Singh, at the age of just 18, attended a wedding where he witnessed the lude comments and leering of guests towards a female dancer, who was also a sex worker. Ajeet, angry and distressed, went on to adopt three children of the sex worker, in order that the daughters wouldn’t fall to the same fate. There were many difficulties with this, and after much learning and struggle, Ajeet established Guria in 1993. Guria is now run by director/founder Ajeet Singh, along with his wife Santwana Manju. Santwana, herself an orphan, is a driving force behind Guria, who dedicates her time to the women and children affected by human trafficking.
Guria are one of very few charities in Uttar Pradesh to carry out the dangerous work of raiding brothels to rescue children trapped inside, as well as to confront human traffickers and pursue legal cases on behalf of victims. This puts them in direct conflict with a powerful criminal nexus, which includes human traffickers and brothel keepers along with corrupt police and government officials. Guria staff have been physically and verbally abused and both Ajeet and Santwana Manju have received death threats to themselves and their family. They continue unabated.
Guria operate on the frontline in India, in an extremely difficult, corrupt and volatile environment – their work is urgent and as such they have very little time for self promotion or fundraising. Guria UK is volunteer run and is part of a network of local and international friends of Guria who raise awareness and support their outstanding work.
Santwana Manju with kids at the Guria Non Formal Education (NFE) centre
Ajeet Singh, Guria director, with kids at the Guria Non Formal Education (NFE) centre