Women’s Week 2020: The Story of Pari
Every woman has the right to live with dignity and without discrimination. They have a right to be treated equally in society, regardless of their background or where they come from.
In our run-up to International Women’s Day 2020, we bring to you stories of the women and girls we work with who are fighting for their rights despite the odds stacked against them. We share these stories as a reminder that there is still a long way to go but we are on our way.
Today we share the story of Pari and her fight for a future filled with possibilities and hope.
I am Pari*, I will soon be turning 20 years old. Right now, I stay at a hostel (children refer to a Children’s Home as a hostel), this is the second hostel I’ve stayed at. Before this, I was staying in another hostel, but seven other girls and I were moved out because the Director of that organization misbehaved with us.
Madhu* didi enrolled me in my previous hostel. I don’t know much about my past or my biological parents, Madhu didi told me that a Transgender had handed me over to her and asked her to keep me somewhere safe. The transgender never returned and Madhu didi enrolled me into my first hostel. There they told me I didn’t have a family. They enrolled me in a special school because they said I had a low IQ, I wasn’t good at reading, writing and, Math. I don’t think I’m good at it either.
At my current hostel, things are very different. We get to enjoy our freedom and are taught about boundaries. They also share about the importance of rules and that it is my right to say ‘NO’ and that it’s not my fault when someone misbehaves with me. The didi’s here also approached the police to find my family.
We also have regular individual sessions to discuss my future. They always encourage all of us here to pursue our passions and organize career sessions here. I liked the idea of a career in beauty care after I shared this with the didi’s they enrolled me into a beauty care course at a local salon, I liked it a lot. I will soon be giving my exam and will be certified to practice beauty care. In 2018, we were introduced to a career in fitness. This got my attention and so I enrolled myself in the training. I practice daily for an hour and also lead our hostel’s fitness program. I hope to start teaching fitness to children at a local NGO. I want to be a fitness trainer. The didi’s here connected me to a renowned fitness trainer who is mentoring and guiding me through this journey. Being a fitness trainer will be my full-time job, beauty care will be my back up. I will also start working part-time at a local salon.
I will be moving into a Group Home soon, it’s a flat in which five girls around my age will be staying, the home is close to my hostel as well. For the last one year, the didi’s at the hostel have been training me to lead an independent life, manage my time, my food and my money. I’m very nervous but also excited to move out and live on my own.
To be a good fitness trainer and work in beauty care, it is important that I am honest, dependable and ensure cleanliness and personal hygiene. I know for a fact that I have all these qualities. If I have to describe myself I would say I am disciplined, kind, caring and friendly.
I believe it’s important that we all have a dream and then work hard to make our dreams a reality. I believe it’s important that every person has the right to safety and to lead a life of dignity!
*Names have been changed to protect the individual’s identity.