On behalf of women in India, why I’m saying no to sexual exploitation.
The eldest daughter of a simple villager, Kiron grew up too fast. At 13 she was told by her father that it was time to get married. They were poor and often didn’t have enough to eat and so one less mouth to feed would be better for the family. He asked her if she liked any of the village boys and on her wedding day thought she was marrying a boy she knew. With head covered by her wedding sari at only 13, she looked into her bridegroom’s eyes and saw an older man leering back at her…not the young man she thought whe was marrying. As is the custom, she was taken to her new home where life was dictated by her new mother-in-law. She tried really hard to please her husband and his mother but it wasn’t easy.
A few months into her new life, she was told to go to the field that the family owned. There she saw a group of young men who quickly gathered round and she began to fell intimidated. One spoke up and simply said…your mother – in-law has sold you to us for the afternoon….Gang-raped, she hid until dark and then fled to her uncles home, too ashamed to go back to her own immediate family, let alone her husbands home. Her uncle took her in and cared for her. After a few days he sat down and talked with her and said it would be better for the family if she left the village as this had brought shame on them all. He promised to find her a job in the city of Kolkata where she could start a new life.
Her own uncle, whom she trusted, sold her into a brothel to begin her new life.
Trafficking must be stopped, young girls need to have a choice of freedom… your part in NOvember will help… it will tangibly give hope – a hope for a better future for those most vulnerable in the rural districts of West Bengal, India.
This NOvember you can say no to exploitation and contribute towards routes out for women by shopping online at Global Seesaw. All Global Seesaw products are made by women free from trafficking and exploitation in West Bengal. By using the code BTS2016 during November, you can get a 10% discount AND Beyond the Streets will get a 10% donation. It’s a Win Win Win!
Given up shopping for NOvember? You can make a donation directly to Beyond the Streets instead here.
Words by Annie Hilton, Co-Founder of Freeset (Global Seesaw being the UK trading name for Freeset) and friend of Beyond the Streets.