It was 9:25 p.m., July 5, 2018, when Adarsh Shrivastava used his cellphone to send a tweet to India’s Ministry of Railways, alerting the department to 26 young girls seated in the same train cabin as he. They were unusually nervous and restless; some were crying.
The bottom line—something was very wrong.
I am traveling in Avadh express(19040). in s5. in my coach their are 25 girls all are juvenile some of them are crying and all feeling unsecure.@RailMinIndia @PiyushGoyal @PMOIndia @PiyushGoyalOffc @narendramodi @manojsinhabjp @yogi
— Adarsh Shrivastava (@AdarshS74227065) July 5, 2018
Thanks to Shrivastava, who acted on a gut feeling, more than two dozen girls were saved from human trafficking that evening in north India.
After receiving the observant man’s tweet, plainclothes police officers boarded the train a few stops later after being tipped off by the Ministry of Railways.
Kindly look into this matter @rpfner
— Indian Railways Seva (@RailwaySeva) July 5, 2018
Two men, aged 22 and 55, were arrested.
The teenage girls, aged 10–14, were not able to readily disclose their information, so were handed over to child welfare to deal with.
It was later determined these girls were all from West Champaran in Bihar, northeast India, where they were all to be returned to.
Whilst it’s shocking yet relieving to know these girls were rescued from who knows what kind of fate, our attention zooms back in on Shrivastava.
Praise was tweeted to Shrivastava when netizens found out about his quick-thinking heroics.
“This is the best possible way to use out social media,” writes one Twitter user. “Inspiration to all and salute to Adarsh Shrivastava, we are proud of you.”
In response to one user who was concerned for Shrivastava’s safety, the latter responded to say he would not reveal his identity, and thanked him for his concern.
There’s one thing that Shrivastava wrote, which sums up his virtuous act perfectly.
“It’s our responsibility to help people.”