Gudiya: A shocking account of sex trafficking and hypocrisy in the holy city of Varanasi

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Varanasi, one of the most ancient cities and the spiritual capital of India, is unfortunately, also known for the horrific stories of human trafficking, rape and sexual slavery.

Blush, a women-centric YouTube channel, recently released a documentary short film titled ‘Gudiya’ to explore this very side of Varanasi. The film was made with the help of an NGO called Guria, run by husband-wife duo – Ajeet and Manju.

The hard-hitting documentary features several women who have been abducted and raped in this holy city. They speak about their harrowing experiences and society’s insensitivity towards them. More often than not, the police seem to be working with the traffickers.

“I realized the brothels were run by the police stations,” says Ajeet in the film, adding that for every new girl that was brought there, the police got an entry fee, a share in monthly collections, as well as sexual favors.

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Ajeet and Manju of Guria

As per the documentary’s shocking revelations, this business runs so deep that even newborn babies get trafficked and there is no one to question it. “…They’re grooming up these children, you know through drugs…hormonal injections are given…some tablets are given for them to grow. These people hardly know that they have been trafficked, you see,” explains Ajeet.

Manju adds that the very same people who were sworn to protect the poor and unfortunate, refuse to even file an FIR in these cases. In fact, they accuse these young girls of running away with the men who abducted them. “Even if the girl was six years old, she must have run away with someone!” Manju explains the attitude of the policemen.

The NGO, Guria, has been rescuing trafficked girls for the past 14 years, with the primary goal of ending second-generation prostitution. They have rescued many girls from Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan and Nepal, and have been offering them rehabilitation.

Despite the hard-hitting subject of this documentary (below), it does present a glimmer of a hope that things can and will get better as long as more people and organizations such as Guria, come forward and step up to combat and end this evil.

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