Sandhya* was rescued in March 2011 from Nagpur. Being deaf and dumb, it was easy for the brothel keepers to take advantage of her as she was unable to defend herself or even seek help from others as communication was such a challenge.
After Freedom Firm’s intervention team rescued her in 2011 from Nagpur, she was placed in the care of the government shelter home. One of her traffickers posed as her mother and even brought a fake ID card. But when the police brought Sandhya’s real mother, the truth finally came out.
Rescue, however, is only the first part of a girl’s road to restoration. The next part, which is the rehabilitation and reintegration stage, is perhaps the most difficult. For Sandhya, each time she saw a man in the shelter home where she was living, fear enveloped her and she would start shivering uncontrollably. A breakthrough happened when she spotted her uncle, one of the 5 traffickers arrested in her case, in the police station and expressed her wordless anger and pain by going up to him and hitting him repeatedly.
She eventually went back to her village to live with her mother and sister. On a follow-up visit last year, our social workers found her pregnant. Her mother, who insisted that this was because she was forced into prostitution 2 years ago, refused to take Sandhya to the hospital for medical care or for the delivery, despite our earnest attempts to make her understand the necessity of doing this.
On their next follow-up visit, our social workers found her in labor! Somehow they managed to persuade the mother to allow them to take Sandhya to the hospital. Thankfully she agreed, and a few hours later, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Today, both mother and baby are healthy and doing well.
*name changed to protect identity