As a young man in his early 20s, Sudir* lived through a harrowing ordeal which later became the impetus for his lifelong dedication to freeing slaves. Sudir’s younger sister, a minor at the time, was trapped in human trafficking. This is a scary situation in any place, but even more so in their city. They lived in a poverty stricken part of India, highly susceptible to trafficking activity of this kind. Undeterred by his ranking in the lowest caste young Sudir plunged into a frantic search for his dear sister. He went literally door to door, until he found the brothel where she was being kept. Then, he worked with the police to rescue her from her captors. They were able to beat the odds, remove her, and bring her back home. Her story is one of the happy ones. That happened 22 years ago.
Sudir remains just as passionate about freedom today as he was during that impacting experience. His sister, now a capable social worker, has joined Sudir as a vital member of The Exodus Road team. What might have caused bitterness or anger in some became the starting point for a beautiful life of service to others in captivity. His contribution to the work of freedom has meant liberation for hundreds of women and children.
Sudir is passionate and full of energy. Our VP of Global Operations, Kevin Campbell, recently had the privilege of speaking with Sudir. He asked him to share with us about what keeps him so motivated.
Sudir (identity and name protected) pictured with Kevin Campbell, the VP of Global Ops, and Matt Parker, founder and CEO of The Exodus Road
“My hope is to see one day ‘no more child and woman forced into prostitution’ as I move forward to help find and free slaves,” he said. Then through tears, “I just want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of The Exodus Road. For allowing me to go out with the team and do investigations.”
He has carried this same gratitude with him since he joined The Exodus Road team at the beginning of this year. “Brother Matt, thank you. Together, we will rescue many girls,” he said as they shook hands when meeting each other for the first time.
Sudir has a team of investigators and social workers. They travel to many rural villages, at times a full 24 hours by bus away from their home town, to perform undercover investigations. He has earned the respect of many officials and police in his region, in spite of his social class, and works in collaboration to rescue women and children from brothels and trafficking. His team will double in size so that Sudir will be leading 10 – 12 brave individuals by the end of the year. This will instantly increase the range of impact in the nation of India.
Recently we rescued a girl, 7 years old, along with her 12 year old sister, from a brothel. This particular girl is really special to me as she has no parents and she was kept in a brothel with dirty clothes and no proper food. When we rescued her she was very scared and confused.- Sudir
“Each girl I rescue is unforgettable to me,” says Sudir, “Yes. Recently we rescued a girl, 7 years old, along with her 12 year old sister, from a brothel. This particular girl is really special to me as she has no parents and she was kept in a brothel with dirty clothes and no proper food. When we rescued her she was very scared and confused. But it makes me very happy in my spirit to save such a small girl, as she was about to be sold in a matter of days. I am really happy … She is really doing great, and so is her sister. I praise God and thank Him for giving me the opportunity to be associated with Exodus Road to continue the fight against human trafficking.”
It is a joy and honor to have Sudir as a leader with The Exodus Road. We congratulate him, his investigators, and his social workers on the tireless work they are doing in India to free slaves. These are the real national heroes whom we as a community are honored to empower.
*Name changed for security.