Pramila, a caretaker in Udaan

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Today, we introduce you to a person whose story is very inspiring, who, in a short time has become an important part of the Udaan center. Let’s meet  Pramila.

She is 47 years old and has recently joined our shelter which is created for the survivors of human trafficking, as a caretaker. Today six women and three of her children live in this house.

Pramila has been a victim of sexist violence and wants to share her story and send a message to women around the world. We are sure that her story will inspire you.

Can you tell us about your childhood and the early years of your life?

I was born and raised in a village near Pune; however, my parents have always lived in South Mumbai. My father worked in a shoe store and my mother was a housewife. Since my father was not very responsible when it came to supporting the family, my mother started selling fish and thus, she was able to support a family with three daughters and one son. Therefore, we soon realized that we had to be with our mother to bear that burden.

From a very young age, I started to help my mother, and after failing the 10th grade, at the age of 16, I had to give up my studies and take a job at SEEPZ, Andheri.

Does your family has been supporting you in your decisions and ups and downs?

Due to the financial problems, my parents married me to a person twice my age when I was 28 years old. Since I couldn’t find a suitable groom, to ease the burden on my parents shoulder, I agreed to get married. However, even though my husband was a doctor, he used to mistreat me because of his addiction to alcohol. I left him and went back to my parents’ house. But my parents were worried that my failed marriage was affecting the lives of my other siblings. I was determined not to return to my husband’s house. Unfortunately he died after two years due to his addiction. I found out about his death three months after the event from his parents. Even at my parents’ house, I never stopped having a difficult time.

Later, my parents forced me to marry again due to social pressure. So I married a good man. But I was devastated and didn’t want to commit to any new relationship.

Tell us about your work experience and how you found out about Mumbai Smiles.

I am the second daughter and I have witnessed my sister’s failed marriage and her suffering as an AIDS patient. She got infected through her husband. Accompanying her made me think that she could help women who suffer from this serious disease. Although I worked to raise awareness about the transmission of AIDS, handing out brochures and helping people suffering from this disease to access hospitals, I could save her. My sister died after two years of contracting the disease. I was in shock; however, the pain and adversity made me confirm my decision to work in NGOs to help other women.

In December, I gotr to know that there is a vacancy at Mumbai Smiles. Having worked with people with AIDS for 20 years, I was very interested in accepting the opportunity and started working as a caregiver at the Udaan shelter home. Now, I take care of women who have survived human trafficking and I hope to help them and grow together.

What do you want for your future life and what would be your message to other women?

I have suffered a lot and therefore, I want to help those who really need it, those who want to stand up with confidence against injustice.

I am convinced that even if you have a good family, a good husband and good parents, every woman should protect her rights and should be financially independent.

Thank you Pramila for sharing your story. We wish you the best and looking forward to work with you.


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