Disclaimer:- The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not represent Freedom Firm in any way

Next year, I’ll be in college. To put it simply, I’m coming to the end of my teenage years and like most boys and girls my age, am acutely aware of sex and all the taboos surrounding it.  I hope you will grant me a few minutes to read what I have written and understand why I fight for this cause and why I believe you should too.

Being a child of the internet I’ve been aware of the existence of porn from the age of 10, thanks to some badly labeled links on a magazine website. But it was only two years later that I truly began to realize what it meant. For me at the time, it was biology.  Sex was just a result of evolutionary processes. It wasn’t vulgar or disgusting. It just was. This was a unique perspective from those of my peers. I will not even pretend that I have a clean mind ( much better resources out there for sex ed). And that’s why I can talk about it like this.

Porn is not going away. It is the oldest business in human history. But I’ve also come to the realisation that most of the women in the adult entertainment business that I’ve talked to or the actresses I’ve listened to on podcasts are not in prostitution because they want to be (there are exceptions of course). Many have given up on their dreams of being doctors or other professions to support themselves and their families. What I’m fighting is something much inexcusable. Slavery exists, and India is its patron saint. I am specifically talking about sex trafficking with more than One million children forced into it.

I have no idea how the world should be. Take it from an ex-fascist-turned-stalinist-turned-marxist-turned-pro-democracy-turned-I-don’t-have-the-slightest-clue. But I do have what people call ‘zero BS tolerance’. And violating children with or without their consent is one that crosses the line. The girls we save have been betrayed by the adults in their life from the beginning; by her parents who saw her as another mouth to feed; by her aunt and uncle who suggested selling her to the brothel; by her teacher who forgot about that quiet shy girl who he suspected was being abused at home; by the police officers who gave up on a missing girl case too quickly because they were paid off or her case just wasn’t a priority; by the men who came day in day out to the brothel and violated her… These girls have never had the teenage experience I’m sure many of you reading this are going to have or have had.  For them, their teenage years were or are still a blur of bodies on top of them, their eyes that once filled with terror, are now devoid of life.

Many of the girls when talked to, behave well beyond their years.  They are filled with shame even though they were the victims.  What will they do even after being rescued, after all, aren’t they ‘dirty’ according to this society of ours? Will their families accept them?

The point I’m trying to make, they don’t know how it feels to be dumb. To have that sense of knowing everything in the world and the stubborn confidence that comes with being a teenager. And that is one of the greatest joys that they have been robbed of. That is why it falls to us to show them genuine warmth and kindness, without expecting anything in return.

As for me? I’ll continue to support this cause with all my energy.  I’m told the word ‘adolescence’ comes from the Latin adolescentem, which apparently the Romans designated the period from the age of 13 to a person’s early 30s. So then, I’ve just started my journey, haven’t I?

On this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, I urge you dear reader to join the fight against sex trafficking of minors and children and put an end to this, whatever your personal opinions might be. This is an issue that crosses all ideological boundaries.

17 year-old Digant Solanki is a senior at BGS International Public School, Delhi.  He has a deep interest in social issues and is a firm advocate of protecting children’s rights He started his own private tuition service where he taught Maths, English, and Science to underprivileged children in a rural village.