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Sharmila's story

When Sharmila* was still a young girl, her parents married her to a much older man. She was unhappy with the marriage but did not dare to share her feelings with her parents because of their poverty. She did, however, tell a woman she worked with about her predicament. Her father was then arrested on the basis of a child marriage complaint and sentenced to six months in prison. During his imprisonment, Sharmila and her mother often went to visit him where they met a man who promised to help get the father out of jail sooner. The man, known as Vicky, succeeded in aiding them with the father's sentence. During the legal process, Vicky showed an interest in Sharmila, and on the day of the father's release, the family gave Sharmila to Vicky to become his wife.

Instead of marrying Sharmila, Vicky brought her to Pune with another girl called Mala who had her seven-month-old baby daughter with her. Vicky sold the two girls to different brothels. Sharmila tried to run away many times but was always caught and brought back.

Sharmila was rescued on the 30th of May 2011 and is now happily married to a man she loves.

*name changed to protect idenity


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