I always think about where I was before, where I came from, and where I am now. I was uneducated, my family used to beat me, and we were very poor. - Asha
At 12 years old, Asha became a child bride. Desperately unhappy, she tried to end her life by jumping into a well when she was 14-years-old. Another man pulled her out of the well and sold her to a brothel-keeper when she was 15-years-old. She longed to escape but her captors were always watching. When she was 17-years-old, she found she was pregnant and wanted to keep her baby.The brothel keeper forced her to have a late-stage abortion. Broken in body and spirit, Asha’s heart grew sick.
Then, one night, police arrived and rescued Asha. "After I was rescued the police sent back to my home, but my own family did not accept me." Freedom Firm offered her a place in their aftercare program in Ooty in 2007.
After I was rescued, I did not know what my future would hold. I was filled with anger. I wanted to end my life after all that had happened to me. Then I asked myself, 'how long will I be a scared woman?' Because of my fear I wanted to change and to be strong. I've become very bold now.
I felt God's love through the Freedom Firm family. They showed me love and care. They helped me accept myself despite my past. I learned many things during my time with Freedom Firm in Ooty and Pune.
Asha traveled from the safe shelter in Ooty to be the first employee in Freedom Firm's newest handicraft workshop. She tested her wings and found herself ready to fly.
I found my husband, who knows everything about my past but accepts me the way I am. He has never shouted at me or beaten me.
Though I lost my second child (a son), and am still grieving, I remind myself about how privileged I am to be here. Whenever I get angry or frustrated I go into a corner and quietly pray. God has healed my sickness. He has healed my life.
There was a time when I didn't know how to read and write but now I teach my daughter. I understand my responsibility to my family and especially to my daughter.
I am working as a cook and doing tailoring work during lockdown. My husband and his brother have built a house here and we bought a motorcycle. I have all I need. I'm very happy now.
Today I think about all our rescued girls, once used and discarded, now being shaped and renewed. Their beauty astounds me they continue rebuilding their lives of freedom.
As we enter this holiday season, there are still girls locked in brothels all over India. They are waiting to be found. Will you join with me in helping rescue them? Please consider giving a gift to Freedom Firm this year to help end sex trafficking and free girls like Asha.
You can also support artisans like Asha by shopping for Christmas gifts
from the Freedom Firm Holiday Collection! Click on any photo below to purchase.
More ways to make a difference!