From brothel to university
Amolika* just wanted to stay in school. A simple enough goal, but an impossible one for the 20-year-old who had fought so hard just to finish her 10th standard exams (GCSEs). “I wanted to get a university degree,” she says, “but my father wanted me to get married immediately.”
When her father refused to pay for any further education Amolika decided to find other ways to raise the money. An acquaintance told her that there was a lot of money to be made at a brothel and Amolika began to work there. But she was unprepared for how it would make her feel. “I would tell my mother that I was working at a salon but I would go to the brothel instead,” she says “I was plagued with guilt for lying to her and what I was doing just felt wrong.”
Last year when the police and Justice and Care rescued young girls from the brothel where Amolika was working, our colleagues asked Amolika if she wanted a different life and she said, “Yes!” Coming out of the brothel was difficult; she no longer had the money to support her studies and the financial situation at home was getting worse. We promised to stand by her.
She since then went on to finish her 12th standard exams (A-levels) early this year and has just begun her first year of university. Because she also wanted to support her family financially, Amolika asked our staff to help her find a part-time job. We partnered with another organisation called Ankur Kala that trains women in cosmetology. She will study with them for three months after which we will help her find a job. Thinking back to the time in the brothel is hard for her. But Amolika is very strong and her brow quickly clears when she thinks about the future. And with her determination, we’re sure she’ll go far.
* All names of victims of trafficking have been changed to protect them. All images used are representational only and persons depicted are not victims of trafficking.