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Learning the Alphabet at 17

Kolkata social worker Shelly went for Raya’s court proceedings as Raya (rescued from a brothel in Bowbazaar, Kolkata in October 2022) was called to give her statement February 15th, 2023. 17 year old Raya spoke with confidence and boldness and named all the people responsible for sexually exploiting her. The defense lawyer wasn’t able to intimidate her.

Raya is living in a shelter home in Kolkata. She is doing normal teenage things like playing a game in the dark with her friends - although she did hurt a foot and had to take a tetanus shot. We are super proud of this 17 year old who has a zest for learning. She has learned to write the English and Bengali alphabet and learned numbers from 1-100. Now, she is now learning tailoring, karate, dancing and yoga. It is amazing to think of a 17 year-old learning the alphabet and numbers 1-100 for the first time (although she is learning them in both her local tongue and a second language)...but she is eagerly soaking up the opportunity to live and learn and we couldn't be more proud of her!


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