Shruti can’t tell you how old she is—she doesn’t know. Before she started working at Freeset, her life was very hard. Her mother, father and grandmother all died and Shruti was left to pay for the funerals. Even the man in her life deserted her.
She used all the money she’d saved and worked to get more. But if she didn’t have customers, she didn’t eat.
“I came to work at Freeset so I could provide for myself and my family and my grandchildren,” Shruti says. “I used to pray to God to help me and he has shown me the right road. God gave me this job and now I am healthy.”
Ashoka sometimes visits the brothels where she used to work, explaining that “standing in line” is not the only option. When the girls ask her what they can do, she tells them about Freeset.
Ashoka sews the sides of bags and supervises tea breaks at the factory. She says her life is good and today she walks to work with her head held high—no shame.
“I have found great freedom,” she says. “I want to give God thanks. He has given me good things—health, peace, a good husband, a good family.”
Debi’s mother was a sex worker, so it was the life Debi knew as a young woman. Instead of doing the same work, she wanted to save for a marriage and find a better life. When she saw people coming and going from the Freeset building and found out about the work they were doing, she asked for a job.
Today, she says the work has helped solve her problems—she is married, she works and receives a salary, and has her own savings account at a local bank.
“I used my own money to get married,” she says. “Because of my job at Freeset, I was able to help my mother, which meant she didn’t need to have so many customers.”