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Set Beautiful Free: A Voice for the Voiceless

Estela Wilson
Women and children apart of Set Beautiful Free in India.

Across the world, in a bustling and overwhelming city, countless women and children are unaccounted for, held captive, sold, and trafficked in India. These women are sent to brothels to entertain men, depriving them of their basic human rights. The U.S. Department of State reported, “An estimated 27.6 million victims worldwide at any given time” are being trafficked; some children as young as six months old. 

Set Beautiful Free is a non-profit organization of over thirty years with the initiative to prevent human trafficking. They rescue women and children directly from the Red Light District in India, and offer them rehabilitation programs so they can be reintegrated into society. With the help of their outreach teams, who go into the darkest and poorest places in India, they are able to rescue women and children from living a life of being sex-trafficked. Currently, they have more than 600 residents in their programs. Five days a week, their outreach teams go to these places to speak with (and inspire) these women and children in captivity and offer them a future.

“What’s fascinating about the outreach team is that they [the women] have been once trafficked and now they have been reintegrated into society and they have been doing so good, they chose to go back into the brothels, share their life stories, and rescue other women and children who are trapped there,” said Dawn Devraj.

Dawn Devraj is the daughter of KK Devraj, the Founder and President of Set Beautiful Free.

Both of them, along with family members, came across the world to San Marcos, and spoke to Entrepreneurship Academy and AP MircoEcon students at lunch on September 14, hosted by SMEA Director, Mr. Oleson. There, they shared their story of social entrepreneurship.



 Over thirty years ago, with only a one-way ticket booked, Devraj started small and moved to India. All he had was a genuine care for others and a passionate soul.

“We all need to be voices for the voiceless. There’s beauty in that. Not only for all the victims, but also for ourselves,” Devraj said. “All these bad things are happening. What we see are the hearts of the poorest of the poor, those that have no words, that breaks the heart of all of us, and breaks the heart of God. And so we humbly become their voice.” 

What these women go through is beyond imaginable. Devraj explained how their families do not want their daughters to be used and abused, but it is what they feel is necessary. When these women are trafficked, they are constantly told, “this is what you were born for” by traffickers, making them feel as if being forced into prostitution is a necessary path in life they are bound to take anyway. Like no one is there to help them from a young age. 

Devraj used the word “resigned,” to describe the womens’ mentality; for how they think of themselves. Like they are hidden in the shadows. To them Devraj says, “No, there are people who love you and care for you and there’s a God that loves you and cares for you, we love you and there is more for you in the future than what has happened.” 

The majority of the women who are trafficked become addicted to drugs and alcohol. So, having kind, selfless people supporting them is essential. One of Set Beautiful Free’s programs for these women is to help them recover. Once they graduate from that program they move onto the next one, such as vocational programs where they learn life skills and are provided with a quality education. 

“We’re a long term organization where once they come to us, it’s not a 6-month program and they’re done; we make sure–it’s a life-long process–that they are ready to stand on their feet,” said Dawn Devraj.

Every resident is fully supported by the community that Set Beautiful Free has created. The women are supported every step of the way as it says on their website, “Set Beautiful Free believes that in order to transform lives, we must walk in their shoes.” Whether that be the nutritious meals provided to them at the various school locations, someone to cry with, or even walking down the aisle.

James Devries who is a Co-Founder of SMEA, former teacher at San Marcos, and long-time friend of  Devraj  attended the lunch when he and his daughter spoke. Mr. Devries asked Devraj just how many weddings he stood in place of a father at, to which Devraj said, “Hundreds.” That is how impactful Set Beautiful Free is.

Estela Wilson, senior at San Marcos, had the opportunity to travel to India and work first-hand with Devraj and his family this past February. She lived at the school for a week alongside the girls who were rescued.

“All of them have been through so much and it’s so heartbreaking to know what they go through, but they are the most happy, joyful people ever, and so it makes you honestly, be hopeful,” said Wilson. “It makes you feel empowered in a way that these little girls are just living their best life in such hard circumstances that it makes you want to also appreciate so much more.” 

Wilson also said how it encourages her to want to help, do more, and keep bringing this kind of joy to others. 

Over the years San Marcos’ Entrepreneurship Academy has partnered with Devraj and his family to fundraise for Set Beautiful Free. In January, outside of school, a concert is planned to do exactly that (more details to come closer to the date). As for now, at the lunch the Devraj’s family said how grateful they are to students at San Marcos, and look forward to working with people who care just as much as they do. You can visit their website at


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About the Contributor
Evelina Erickson
Evelina Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Evelina Erickson is a senior at San Marcos High School. It is currently her fourth year with the King’s Page. For the past two years she has been the news editor and feature editor. This year she is excited to be one of the Editor-in-Chief and the news editor. Evelina enjoys writing about all topics but especially would like to move or inspire the people who read her articles. She is also a part of the Entrepreneurship Academy on campus. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, logic puzzles, playing golf, and hanging out with friends.
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