A recent BBC investigation https://bbc.in/35fECOh has found children as young as seven are being groomed to sell sex in one of the world’s largest licensed brothels.
This is the story of one of our mothers who lived in this notorious brothel in Bangladesh and who, with the support of The Sreepur Village charity, has been able to turn her life around and stay safe with her family, providing for their future without the future fear of living in poverty or being harmed.
“I am Roma Das, I am 35 years old and I have three children. I used to live in the notorious Daulatdia brothel but since 2017 I have been living at The Sreepur Village. All my children go to school and I am working in a garment’s factory.
I was brought up in Kustia, Bangladesh and after 12 years of married life my husband died. As soon as he was gone my life became unbearable. I worried about my children’s future how they would eat, go to school and stay healthy. I tried desperately to get a job, but nobody would help me - my parents also died so I had no support and my husband’s family treated me like a slave. I often went without food but not being able to feed my three children left me with no choice, so in desperation and with the promise of a future I went to Doulodia brothel.
I was 27 years old when I lived in the brothel and I stayed there for almost three years. It was and is the worst story of my life. Every day I had to serve three to four men. When I realised my children were witnesses to such things, I worried that they would grow up learning bad things so this time I decided to go to a normal community.
My Daulatdia life was like a war field, people came and payed for my services, but they treated me like a slave. My earnings were split between myself and the brothel leader, so after such promises of earning for the future, I in fact earned very little.
After leaving the brothel I went to work in an office as a messenger, but I still could not afford to pay the fees for my children’s education. One day I heard about The Sreepur Village and decided to go there.
My dream was to be able to support my family independently and thanks to The Sreepur Village both my eldest boy and girl are now studying in the community school. I hope they can learn about the world and that they never have to go through what I did. Please pray for my children.”
As The Sreepur Village has protective measures in place to welcome new families during the Covid pandemic, we would like to share with you a story of why these mothers are in desperate need of our shelter, food and care.
Until Monday, we were unable to admit any new families to The Sreepur Village, but as identified cases of the virus are increasing daily, we are now able to safely admit some impoverished families who are in desperate need of shelter, food and care.
As Small Charities and Volunteers’ Week both fall in June, one of our long-standing supporters, Andy Bennett, has kindly offered to share with us her experiences with The Sreepur Village charity from the initial concept in the 1980’s to the current village today, which helps keep together 150 impoverished mothers and their 300 children, empowering families with hope for a brighter future: