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.”
Life can sometimes throw unimaginable challenges at us, but it's the human spirit's resilience and determination that can lead to remarkable stories of triumph.
Lia's life is a testament to this spirit, marked by adversity, courage, and ultimate success. Lia's story draws parallels to other stories of perseverance, and highlights the crucial role of organisations like Sreepur Village in transforming lives.
Out of the blue, at the tender age of 13, Chia found herself sitting on a bridal stage, about to marry a man who was 35 years old. Her parents had arranged the match, finding the man from their nearby locality in Bhairab.
He was a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) businessman who occasionally sold vegetables and fruits on the street. Chia's aspirations and youthful dreams were abruptly interrupted by this sudden marriage. Instead of books, she found herself with kitchen utensils in her hands. She went from feeling like a princess to becoming a servant overnight.