X SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
1 kings 17:17-24; galatians 1:11-19; luke 7:11-17
at 18, he adopted a dance girl’s kids. today, twenty-eight years later, he has rescued 1000+ girls from traffickers.
ajeet singh was 18 when he saw a nautch girl performing at a wedding in varanasi. «the way people looked at her and treated her shocked and saddened me. i decided to do something to free such girls from such a profession,» he recalls. after the girl finished dancing, ajeet asked her if he could take care of her children! he adopted her three children—despite huge opposition from his family—and started teaching them.
he realised that wasn’t enough. «the system is so complex that mere education or awareness cannot solve it. the issue is slavery. trafficking needs to be abolished. only then can girls be saved,» he says.
it need a more aggressive approach. ajeet started an organisation «guria» in 1993 to fight against the sexual exploitation of girls. they started with rescuing girls, and rehabilitating them after counselling and skill training. they moved on to initiate legal action against the sex traffickers.
thanks to ajeet, thousands of unprotected and vulnerable girls lead a better life today. they have a future.
ajeet’s intervention for these women mirrors GOD’s intervention for women in this sunday’s readings.
in the first reading, elijah raises the son of the widow of zarephath. in the gospel, JESUS raises the son of the widow of nain.
the thrust in the two stories is the same: GOD intervenes in the lives of the two women who, without husbands and sons, found themselves unprotected and vulnerable in a male-dominated/patriarchal world. to be a widow in such a society was devastating. and when a widow lost her son, it was—to quote elijah—an affliction. she lost everything… livelihood, security, status, security, and identity. she did not have a future. by restoring their sons to life, elijah and JESUS give the women a future.
women, today, still find themselves vulnerable and exploited in our male-dominated society. as GOD’s heirs and children, we are called to follow his example of intervening in the lives of women… especially the exploited.
ajeet and his collaborators—and several others—follow his example. what about you and me?