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 Karuna.
Karuna’s Story of Hope and Freedom
Laxmi, Karuna’s mother, went to Hyderabad looking for a job to help her family. A friend introduced her to a woman who promised Laxmi a well-paying job in Dubai as a house maid. Married and raising two small children, she didn’t want to leave her family; she knew that her husband could not find a stable job, though, and the family desperately needed the income. She left a few days later, promising Karuna, her husband, and her son that she would just be there a short time and would see them again soon. Once Laxmi arrived in Dubai, though, there was no job as a house maid. Instead, she was forced into the sex-trade and beaten every time she did not cooperate.
After three years in Dubai, Laxmi found a way to escape the sex-trade. However, she returned home to discover that her husband was now living with another woman. He had also forced Karuna to leave school because he could not afford to pay the fees.
Laxmi entered the sex trade again in the local red-light district so that she could pay for Karuna’s school fees. She was determined to ensure that her only daughter received an education. Once Karuna became of age, though, her father started pressuring her to quit school and contribute to the family finances. When Laxmi heard of this, she became afraid that he would force Karuna into the sex-trade too. And, one night when he was sleeping, Laxmi brought Karuna to one of the Sudara skills-training centers. She told us that she wanted a different life for her daughter — a life free from abuse and the sex-trade.
Karuna is currently enrolled in two training courses — sewing and computers — and excelling in both; she has dreams after graduation of working in technology. However, she is most excited about being able to provide for her mom and younger siblings so that they, too, can have a better life.
Thank you for continuing to invest in and empower women like Karuna to create a new life for herself — a life that is free from sex-slavery and full of hope.
Read more Sudara Stories here.