Vaividya* is one of the many women who are receiving skills training at our Tarika Centre in Bangalore. This is her story…
* Names and picture changed to protect anonymity.

In her early twenties Vaividya had already found herself responsible for supporting her family, consisting of her mother, as well as her widowed older sister and her two children. Without education or skills, Vaividya worked as a warden in a hostel, scraping by enough to eek out a hand-to-mouth existence for them all. So she hoped that her life had reached a turning point, when her mother arranged her marriage. Little did she know it was not the turning point she wished for.

It transpired her mother had made a deal with her future husband: young Vaividya as his bride in exchange for his ongoing support for their family, including her mother, older sister and children. However, it transpired that her husband was considerably her senior in age, and also physically handicapped. In addition, he had been married previously and had two children of his own who were already the same age as Vaividya herself.

The marriage proceeded, but worse was to come as Vaividya was repeatedly forced have abortions each time she fell pregnant, to the point where doctors told her she would now be unable to carry a baby to full term. Vaividya reached the final straw when she discovered her husband to be having an affair with another woman.

That is when Vaividya found out about the Tarika Centre and came to us desperate to be able to gain her independence and to make a new life for herself. Now training to do tailoring work, Vaividya has become part of a community of women, who like her, are seeking economic independence and gaining in confidence with their new-found skills each and every day.

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