By Azim Premji
A few months ago, I had one of my most moving experiences. There were three young girls who had been rescued from the clutches of human traffickers by a small group of gutsy people. This strong, committed, courageous group has dedicated its life to this cause. Confronting traffickers is a dangerous calling. But, fortunately, there are also a few, small, tenacious groups that wage a relentless battle to rescue young girls lured and trapped in this terrible life.
I had been somewhat apprehensive, expecting to encounter distraught young girls ravaged by injustice and tragedy. But meeting them was a revelation. Despite the deep scars they no doubt carried, they radiated positive energy and an amazing spirit.
I generally prefer to listen rather than speak, and they were eager to speak, so it worked well. They were bursting with stories, full of aspirations and hope for the future. One wanted to join the police force; another to mobilise the women in her village against the injustices they faced daily; the third wanted to be a teacher, to empower other girls so they would have a better chance in life.
But what all of them were very clear about was that they first wanted a good education. They were convinced that education was the key to their empowerment and to the fulfilment of their dreams. Everything else would follow.