A Real Hero

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“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst.
In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.
Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”
(Ayn Rand – Russian born American Writer and Novelist, 1905-1982)

This is a portrait of Ajeet Singh who is running with his wife Manju an non-profit organisation named GURIA, in Varanasi (Benaras).
Guria is a Human Rights organisation fighting against the sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly those forced into prostitution and trafficking.
Ajeet is a modern hero providing shelter and hope to many children.
He has succeeded in making Varanasi the only city in India with a child prostitute free red light area.
GURIA has earned widespread support and work both with the Indian government and with international organisations including UN, Asian Human Rights Commission, Frontline, Geneva Global and Action Aid.
In May 2010 Ajeet was one of only five people in the world nominated for the annual Frontline Human Rights Defenders at Risk Award, given to those who have made outstanding contributions to human rights at great personal risk.

“FREDOM NOW”, a charity concert with internationally renowned artists Yousuf Ali Khan (tabla), Nicolas Magriel (sarangi), Amie Maciszewski (sitar) and famous sarode player Aashish Khan, will be held in support of Guria in London on July 9TH 2010 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in West Kensington.
For more information see:
www.guria-uk.org

In order to help GURIA: www.guriaindia.org
www.frontlinedefenders.net/node/2433

This was shot a few days ago in the garden of my office in Varanasi (Benaras).

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