Stories of Hope

A Survivor's Story from the Aruna Project

"The youngest daughter to a poor alcoholic, Trupti* was virtually invisible in her slum home. Upon a ‘recruiter’ coming to her village and speaking of the need for a young woman to work in the city, Trupti was finally seen, but for all the wrong reasons. As a fresh and easily managed commodity, Trupti was sold for less than $400 to a brothel owner. She was 13. She endured for months. The months turned to years. After about five years of abuse, she conceived. Against all odds she was able to carry the baby to full term while still enduring daily abuse in the brothel system. She gave birth only to see the child die four days later. Violence, abuse and death surrounded her. Within the next year she was forced to abort another pregnancy and learned that she had become HIV positive. Already facing a harsh cultural stigma, being HIV positive pressed her into a depth of darkness and depravity not worth describing. Through the efforts of many committed to Trupti and others in similar situations, Trupti was not left to suffer the darkness. She was freed from the brothel system. She entered an aftercare system that sought to give instead of take. She is now employed full time earning a living wage. There is still a long journey ahead for Trupti, but she is not walking it alone. Her journey is supported by caring staff and fellow Artisans whose pasts are also marred by the injustice of sexual exploitation, but whose futures are bright with opportunity and empowerment. Trupti is free, empowered, and employed... and she is thriving."    *Trupti is a pseudonym 

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