I was a young carefree girl playing and enjoying myself as a child. One day suddenly my world was turned upside down. When I was 14 my parents got me married off. As a little child, I did not understand what it meant to live a married life. I was still playful and didn't take anything seriously.

Very soon I realised I was carrying a life inside me and a daughter was born to us. My whole life revolves around my daughter. When she was 7 years of age I was once again carrying our second child. By the time I was seven months in my pregnancy, I was in for another shock in my life. My husband left me and for another woman. My world was shattered. I didn't have answers to the questions my 7 year old son was asking. The shame and pain was too much to bear. I finally decided to abort my second child. How would I manage two children without my husband?

I was still young and pretty looking. Living without my husband had other men ogling over me. I decided to contact my first boyfriend and sought his help. He suggested coming to Mumbai and brought me to one of the Red Light Areas in Mumbai. When I had no other option of supporting myself and my daughter, I resorted to giving in to selling my body willingly. I did this in my anger and frustration against my husband.

Some months later, I found my husband with another woman in the area. She claimed to be his wife. I fought publicly with him and her with the help of other women and I made sure that he would leave her and come back to me. I told him I came all the way from Bengal to take him back! We finally decided to go back to our home town and stayed for about a year. Then again one day my husband left me and came back to the other woman, his second wife, in the area.

This lead me to a time of depression. I had no other support system and needed to look after my daughter. I decided to come back to Mumbai, this time to another Red Light Area. I’ve been here since three years, surviving day by day. Life is drudgery and I don't know how long I can carry on like this. I have a few loans I want to clear in the next couple of weeks and then leave for good.

The Purnata center is a safe place for me. I often go there and have food with them and they take good care of me. They have offered me hope and I look forward to joining them. I want a good training, start a decent job, live a life of dignity and give my daughter a future.

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Asalpha, Ghatkopar (West) 

Mumbai, India 400 084

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Trust Registration No. (Under Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950)F-60329 (Mumbai)

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