Dance bar waitress finds future as a beautician
Orphaned, neglected and finally abandoned, Abhaya* now excels in her new job
MUMBAI, JULY 2012: We first met Abhaya* in a shelter home where some of the girls rescued by Justice and Care now live. She approached us for help. We always try to make an impact in the lives of not only the girls we rescue, but also other children and women looking for a new start in the shelter homes we work in.
Abhaya had worked as a waitress in a dance bar** to support her husband and small son. Her husband had run through all her savings and left her for another woman. She was brought to the shelter home along with other women after a police raided the establishment.
Abhaya had few skills. When she was a little girl, her uncle had never allowed his orphaned niece to go to school, telling her that she was a girl and household chores were all she was capable of.
Abhaya's employers are so impressed with her attitude that they want to convert a section of the salon for Abhaya's spa treatments exclusively.
When we invited an entrepreneur who runs a cosmetology school to speak to all the women in the shelter, Abhaya got very excited. She was due to leave the shelter home soon and felt that going back to work at the dance bar would again put her at a risk of being abused, trafficked or coerced into prostitution. She asked us to help her.
We had met with the entrepreneur several times to talk about our work and the importance of training and a career for someone who has been trafficked to make them less vulnerable to exploitation. He generously offered us two places for free in every batch of trainees at his school. Our aftercare workers felt that Abhaya would be an ideal first candidate.
Today, Abhaya has finished her course at the academy and we have helped her find a job in a good salon. She loves her job and the people she works with and her employers are so impressed with her attitude and zeal to keep learning that they want to convert a section of the salon for Abhaya’s spa treatments exclusively.
We continue to network with more schools and businesses to find opportunities that will give people rescued from trafficking a secure future.
We will continue to support Abhaya in her new role and in the future.
** refer to bars in India in which women dance for male patrons in exchange for cash. Unlike western strip clubs, the women here are relatively well covered. These bars were banned in Maharashtra state in August 2005, although some continue to function illegally.