Ketan is as resilient and strong as bamboo
The life of Ketan
Ketan is 20 years old and we have already told you about him before, during the pandemic. But we want to give you a brief summary of what his life has been during these years, how he is today and explain how complicated the lives of the sons and daughters of victims and survivors of trafficking can be. Well in this case, we are talking about a nephew but the situation is the same.
Our hero was born in Nepal and lived with his mother, his father and his brother. But two key events that have impacted on his life since his childhood: an accident when he was two years old that caused damage to his internal organs and then the sexist violence with his mother from his father. After this, his aunt took him to Mumbai. His family thought that his aunt worked as a domestic worker, at least this was the promise that someone from the village made him to go to Mumbai, but no: he has been a victim of sexual exploitation in Kamathipura for years.
Mumbai Smiles is supporting him from last 6 years
We have known Ketan since 2017, which is when we started working with him. In these years we have been pulling the thread and learning about the difficult situation in which he lives. His aunt basically wanted to take full advantage of him, so that he would do all the household chores, nullifying any idea of activity outside of those. And also nullifying the possibility of being himself as much as possible. She also used him to receive financial support from different organizations, while the young man lived in quite deplorable conditions.
During the pandemic the situation worsened. The boys and girls, who like Ketan participated in our Life Skills Empowerment project, needed a phone to be able to attend the classes. His aunt denied it and at such a difficult time, the position and treatment of his aunt led Ketan to fall into depression. But from our team we were attentive, we followed up and we saw that the young man was very afraid to talk to his aunt and express his feelings and problems. Little by little we managed to establish a relationship of trust with her and achieve improvements in her situation.
His dream is to own a hotel
Today Ketan also participates in the Acces to School project and has managed to finish his art studies in the first year of Junior College at 20, and is now waiting to be admitted to a hotel management course, because his dream is to have his own hotel. In parallel, he works as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant to help his aunt and is taking a specific customer service and sales course.
His aunt no longer earns as much money as before and lately she has tried to control Ketan more to have his future and his income in her hands, but the work with Ketan all these years has borne fruit and with our support he has been able to put limits to this situation. From Mumbai Smiles we support him in his studies, also with resources for food, clothing or transportation and also with the guidance of professionals who support him emotionally and help him define strategies.
We have gone through many phases with Ketan, learning problems, mental health problems, emotional problems, family problems, but Ketan is like resilient and strong bamboo and his will and desire have made him a wonderful young man full of dreams.