Stories of Freedom

Sudara Stories: Bhara

We love sharing stories of the women who, as part of a skills-training program, sew together PUNJAMMIES®. The Sudara Stories series highlights a few of these strong, amazing women. Today, we are honored to introduce Bhara.

Bhara Story of Hope and Freedom

{image via ©Paula Watts Photography}

Bhara’s mother, Esther, was sold into the sex trade as a young girl. Esther’s family lived in great poverty and there were not many options for work in her village. So, when a man came to Esther’s father and promised a good job for his daughters if they would come with him to Mumbai, he somewhat hesitantly sent Esther along. He told her that he would see her again soon and to please send money home from the big city. Once she arrived in Mumbai, though, she was sold into a brothel. And, it was in this same brothel that she later gave birth to and began to raise Bhara.

After many years in Mumbai, Esther returned to her home village in search of her father and a safe place for her and Bhara to live. She soon learned that her father had died the previous year of a heart attack and the rest of her family had left in search of work.

Esther, without a place to live or family to help her, felt that she had no other choice but to enter the sex trade again under a pimp. The money she received in her village, though, was far less than she received in Mumbai. And, under pressure from the pimp to bring in more money, she tried repeatedly to force Bhara into the sex trade too.

Bhara ran away from home one evening while her mother was at work. She found safety at a community center in a nearby village and, with the help of a local NGO, was brought to the Sudara skills-training centers where she is still enrolled. Bhara expects to graduate next year and has plans of becoming a teacher.

Thank you for continuing to invest in and empower women like Bhara to create a new life for herself — a life that is free from sex-slavery and full of hope.

Read more Sudara Stories here. And, find the PUNJAMMIES® we named in honor and celebration of Bhara here.

*Photo and name have been changed for identity protection and personal safety

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