This is a story of two sisters and their mother rebuilding life in a state of India without knowing the local language at first. The mother is a strong woman raising the girls alone, and now she is having a secured job and the two sisters are enrolled in school despite all the challenges.

Child trafficking

Growing up with a single mother

Priyanka (11 years) and Sheela (9 years) are two sisters whose parents migrated to places to find work. When Sheela was one year old, the family arrived in Tirupur city, Tamilnadu state of India. Their father brutally left the family and let their mother, Rohit, took all the responsibilities.

Pursuing a secured job

It was challenging for Rohit to manage the family. She did not speak the local language and had to struggle to raise the two girls alone. Rohit was given a job at the garment factory. Everydays, Priyanka and Sheela would be left alone at home while their mother went to work. The girls were very vulnerable to be exploited as they were not well-protected and could not speak the local language.

Whenever possible, Rohit would take some work to complete at home so that she could be with her daughters. As a result, Priyanka and Sheela stayed at home and helped their mother. They were not enrolled at school at all.

Rights to education

Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ local partner, Social Awareness and Voluntary Education (SAVE), encountered Priyanka and Sheela while the partner conducted home-to-home identification survey on vulnerable children. The team met Rohit and convinced her to enroll the girls in a local school. The team also made all the arrangements with the school headmistress for additional support. The biggest challenge was to ensure the girls learn the local language to catch up the lessons at school.

Rebuilding life

Now, Priyanka is studying in 6th standard and Sheela is in 5th standard. The two sisters are very happy to learn, and Rohit, as a single mother, is very proud of the progress of her daughters.

Recently, Rohit was promoted from a low-waged factory worker to a supervisor who manages other fellow workers. She now can manage her time well and take better care of her daughters.

My sister (Sheela) and I are happy and hopeful. We make new friends at school. Thanks for helping us to realise our rights to education and life with dignity.

Priyanka, 11, from India.

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