August 20, 2016 2 min read
We love sharing stories of the women who, as part of a skills-training program, sew together Punjammies®. The Sudara Stories series highlights a few of these strong, amazing women. Today, we are honored to introduce Swapna.
Swapna’s family comes from the Jogini caste and practices temple prostitution. This practice continues in Swapna’s family — her mother was dedicated as a young teen — and in the village where she’s from, despite the dedication of women as Joginis being illegal in India since 1988. Her family believes that they will receive blessings by practicing prostitution in the temple area.
When Swapna’s father died, her mother went to the temple area more often in an effort to bring in additional income for the family. She wasn’t able to bring in enough customers, though, and began bringing Swapna to the temple area and forced her into temple prostitution too.
Swapna wanted nothing to do with temple prostitution or to be part of the Jogini way of life. She wanted to study and had dreams of graduating school. And, one day, when a local non-government organization (NGO) was speaking out against temple prostitution in her community, she asked for their help in escaping the life her mother planned for her.
Swapna came to a Sudara partner center earlier this year. She is currently staying in safe housing and receiving counseling and medical care. She recently learned how to sew and will take other skills-training courses over the next year.
Thank you for continuing to invest in and empower women like Swapna to create a new life for herself. You can read more Sudara Stories here. And, find the Punjammies® we named in honor and celebration of Swapna here.