NARESH PARAS, AGRA

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - SELF­NOM­I­NATED

CAT­E­GORY: GEN­DER EQUAL­ITY

A res­i­dent of Agra, Naresh Paras is wag­ing a bat­tle against ex­ploita­tion of women and chil­dren for more than a decade. In his pur­suit for pro­tec­tion of women’s rights, he has faced threats from crim­i­nals.

In 2007, Paras used the Right to In­for­ma­tion Act to high­light the case of a girl who had been con­fined to a women’s shel­ter home for 14 years. He suc­cess­fully se­cured her re­lease and even­tu­ally got her mar­ried. He has res­cued sev­eral girls from the clutches of traf­fick­ers and brothel own­ers and re­united them with their fam­i­lies in Bihar, Orissa, Ben­gal and Ma­ha­rash­tra. Naresh res­cued a 13-year-old girl who was be­ing sex­u­ally ex­ploited by her fa­ther. The man was fi­nally sent to jail. A woman from Na­ga­land, who had mort­gaged her son to a money lender for Rs 2,000 that she needed for her hus­band’s last rites, fi­nally got her son back due to Naresh’s ef­forts.

He also traced a woman’s fam­ily through so­cial me­dia and helped her in get­ting re­united. She had been beg­ging on the streets of Mathura for two years af­ter hav­ing been kid­napped, raped and aban­doned by some peo­ple. Naresh launched a cam­paign in slum ar­eas to pro­mote 1090 women’s pow­er­line and cre­ate aware­ness against sex­ual abuse.

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