3 Job Opportunties, 1 Myserious Man
Tulasi was born into a family with a loving mother, father, and three brothers. She was raised in extreme poverty where her and her brother had to forgo an education in order to help with their family farm. The family had no land of their own, so they often went and worked on their neighbors’ land to have a source of income. Because marriage is often the best opportunity Nepali girls have at a better life, at the age of 15, Tulasi’s family arranged her marriage to a man from the same village. Tulasi loved her husband, had a very happy marriage and the couple had three children together.
This happiness came to a halting stop when Tulasi’s husband passed away. Suddenly, she was forced to become the sole caregiver for herself and her children. Tulasi began working on farms again but was only making about two dollars a day. She was in a worse situation than she had been as a child, and her children were forced to stop attending school to try and help support their family. Tulasi was looking for any opportunity at a better life for her children, and during this time, she met a man. This man promised Tulasi that he could get her and her friends great, well-paying jobs. The man never said what his name was, but Tulasi trusted him.
Tulasi went back to her village and told her friend, Hita, of the opportunity. Hita also came from an impoverished family and had no education. Hita was in an arranged marriage and had three children with her husband. Much like Tulasi, Hita was thrown into a desperate situation when her husband also died suddenly. In order to help support her children, Hita signed up for the job opportunity with this mysterious man.
Tulasi also told another village girl, Amrita, about this chance at a better life. Amrita came from a better financial background then the other two women. Her family had some land and enough crops to support themselves. Still, Amrita wanted to become successful and earn money on her own, and she decided to also join this man.
The girls were so excited about earning money that they left without telling any of their families. They were to meet the man just over the border in India. When they arrived at the Krishnanagar border, border monitoring staff stopped them. The staff found it odd that these girls were trying to cross the border alone and that they were not from the local village. When asked, the girls were unable to tell Free for Life’s partner organization where they were headed and with whom they were going. This was an obvious trafficking situation.
The staff pulled Tulasi, Hita, and Amrita aside and explained to them what almost happened. How could they trust a man who would not even give them his name? They contacted the girls’ families and further explained the severity of the situation. Hita and Tulasi felt horrible about leaving their children behind, and all three girls decided to return home to their village.
We have offered the girls help, and plan to assist them in being sustainable within their own community.