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Meet Ajeet Singh: The unsung hero who saved over 1000 girls from trafficking

In 1988, while attending a wedding in Varanasi, Ajeet decided to help a nautch girl by adopting her children and giving them an opportunity to lead a better life, while he was in his teens.

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Street children in India. Image source: Wikipedia
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Ajeet singh was in his teens when he decided to do something that people will think twice before doing. In 1988, while attending a wedding in Varanasi, his hometown; he decided to help a nautch girl by adopting her children and giving them an opportunity to lead a better life.

According to the Better India report, Ajeet said, “The way people were looking at her and treating her was something that shocked and deeply saddened me. It was then and there that I decided to do something to free girls like her from such a profession.”

This path caused him to face lot of criticism and comments from society and family. “Of course my decision was not welcomed by my family or society. I faced huge opposition from everyone. But this is what I wanted to do,” he said.

This was just the first step in this path, he then went on to teach the poor children in the red light areas’s of the Varanasi in his spare.That is when he realised that is situation is much worse than what he has expected.

“The whole profession and system are so complex that providing mere education to the kids or spreading awareness about health, HIV, etc., cannot solve it. The issue is slavery and the need to abolish the system of sex trafficking. It is only then that girls can be saved to lead better lives,” he said.

Ajeet Singh: Image source: Better India
Ajeet Singh: Image source: Better India
Ajeet started a movement to rescue small girls from prostitution and flesh trade. He used hidden cameras to record and find out the locations where girls were held. Then he gathered volunteers and raided the area. Till date, Ajeet has rescued over 1000 girls.

“Today, I can say Varanasi is almost free from child prostitution,” claims Ajeet.

Ajeet was not satisfied  with current progress and wanted to take big step towards reducing the sex tracking. “Even the police did not do anything and we thought it was time to bring this issue out in the open,” he added.

Singh started a NGO called Guria and the main objective of the organization was busting pimps and brothel keepers. Over 1400 have been filed by the NGO and Ajeet. Guria also ensures that the bail is not given in such cases. The rescued girls are rehabilitated and educated so that they can work in any field of their choice.

“Our idea is not just to provide one-time support. These girls are like our children. You cannot just provide clothing or just food to your children. You have to give them overall support. This is what we do for these girls,” he said.

Because of his work, Ajeet was regularly get threatened and attacked but he still continued to work for the freedom of these girls.

“Often, these traffickers who get bail come out quickly and start doing what they did earlier. We make sure they stay in jail for a long time. Some of them have been in jail for about four to five years now,” says Ajeet.

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    There should be many Ajeet Singhs in India so that we can abolish sex trafficking which is a huge problem in the society

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12 things you must know about cold drinks in India

If you're addicted to cold drinks, chances are that you are not the only one.

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By Ruchika Verma

  • Cold drinks are one of the lesser known addictions in India
  • Sodas or cold drinks be it cola or non-cola can have harmful effects on us
  • The key is to consume cold drinks in moderation and not excessively

If you’re addicted to cold drinks, chances are that you are not the only one. Everyone loves the sugary, carbonated taste of cold drinks, especially during summers.

Cold drinks tastes good, but they have some harmful effects on us too. VOA
Cold drinks taste good, but they have some harmful effects on us too. VOA

Even in winters, we don’t really hesitate in consuming our favourite cold drinks. However, it is important to know their effect on our health and environment. Here is the list of 12 things you must know about cold drinks:

Obesity

Increase consumption of soda or cold drinks is said to one of the major reasons for high obesity rates and other health problems associated with it, as per some health experts. One can of soda contains about 150 calories, which if consumed regularly, can increase your weight by 6 kgs per year.

Sodas and cold drinks can cause obesity and diabetes. VOA
Sodas and cold drinks can cause diseases like obesity and diabetes. VOA

Causes Diabetes

High consumption of cold drinks can cause diseases like Type 2 Diabetes. Use of artificial sweetener leads to diabetes and thus children and sugar patients should refrain from consuming soft drinks in excessive amount.

Tooth decay

Cold drinks can cause tooth decay and no, not even your toothpaste and toothbrush can save you from this. The acid in cold drinks can damage your teeth more than sugar. The acid present in soft drinks weakens tooth enamel, which leads to cavities and tooth decay.

Also Read: 5 Drinks Which Will Help You Lose Weight

Cold drinks can cause a lots of harm to our body and its immunity. Wikimedia Commons
Cold drinks can cause lots of harm to our body and its immunity. Wikimedia Commons

Caffeine dependency

Many carbonated drinks, be it cola and non-cola, contain caffeine. Caffeine is addictive and can cause insomnia, irritability and other related symptoms in some people. If one is already having problems with caffeine, they should avoid cold drinks as much as they can.

Nutrition deficiency

It may sound quite weird, but it all boils down to the fact that sodas and cold drinks are simply not healthy. Many people have a habit of choosing soda over other beverages like water, milk, juice, etc. If you are one of those people too, chances are, you’re not getting the required amount of nutrients into your body.

One should go for healthier alternatives of cold drinks. Wikimedia Commons
One should go for healthier alternatives of soft drinks. Wikimedia Commons

Weak bones

Not getting required nutrients will obviously have an effect on your health. However, cold drinks can affect your bones as well. Studies suggest that excess consumption of soft drinks which contains acid can reduce the calcium quotient of our bones by preventing the nutrient from getting absorbed.

Artificial sweeteners

This should not really come as a surprise. All cold drinks have artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are not necessarily unhealthy. However, recent studies show that long-term consumption can damage our sugar taste receptors, leading us to crave more sugar oriented food.

Also Read: Sugary drinks responsible for 1 in 200 deaths

Cold drinks can cause tooth decay, obesity, etc. Wikimedia Commons
Cold drinks can cause tooth decay, obesity, etc. Wikimedia Commons

Slows Metabolism

When tired, try not to consume cold drinks and instead go for fresh juice or water. A soft drink can decrease your metabolism rate by 2 times. It also destroys fat burning enzymes leading to obesity.
Affects Reproduction Capabilities
Few studies have suggested that the use of artificial sweeteners in cold drinks, like saccharin and sucralose, can affect reproduction capabilities in humans. It can decrease the chances of pregnancy in women. The presence of caffeine in cold drinks can also decrease the sperm count in men, it may affect the quality of the sperm too.
There are many brands which are famous in India and are regularly consumed. Wikimedia Commons
There are many brands which are famous in India and are regularly consumed. Wikimedia Commons
Top Selling Brands of cold drinks in India
In India, a cold drink is consumed every minute by someone. The most popular brands of cold drinks in India are Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Thumbs Up. Other drinks include Limca, Mountain Dew and Sprite, which have the lemon essence in them. There are other brands like Fanta and Miranda too which are orange flavoured and less preferred drinks.
Controversies
Controversies and cold drinks are almost synonymous. There have been many controversies which revolve around cold drinks and its effects on our health. Concerns over usage of water, accusations over pesticides and sweeteners, and also, the general concerns about how these drinks are unhealthy, keep on plaguing these drinks.
Coca Cola is known to spend a huge amount of money on its advertisement campaigns. Wikimedia Common
Coca-Cola is known to spend a huge amount of money on its advertisement campaigns. Wikimedia Common
Advertising Expenses 
Cold drink brands hire the most famous celebrities to be their brand ambassadors. Their campaigns are often huge and present ideas which are larger than life. A lot of money is being spent on the advertising of these soft drinks. Coca-Cola normally spends up to $3.499 billion in a year on its advertising campaigns.