Artisan Stories

Noorjahan’s Story

After having wed at a young age and, soon after, giving birth to a daughter, Noorjahan’s husband became increasingly irritated with her.

The irritation grew into anger – the anger into something more sinister.

He sold her.

Her daughter was sent back to her village.

Her husband had rid himself of both.

She endured by commiserating with another exploited woman named Nazma over their unjust circumstances.

One day Nazma was no longer held and forced to see customers, and Noorjahan found no advocates apart from her.

Noorjahan’s pimp became irritated with her over money, so he turned her into the police, alleging she stole from him.

She was imprisoned for a month.

Upon release, she was taken back to the pimp and assumed her life was nothing more than what went on in the small, closet-sized room.

Her assumption was wrong.

Nazma was also back – not to see customers, but to find Noorjahan.

Nazma spoke of freedom – of a place where Noorjahan would be valued and respected, and where she could work to earn very good wages with healthcare and benefits.

Noorjahan assumed it impossible until Nazma led her to the front door of the Aruna production unit where Nazma had been working for the last number of months.

Noorjahan found an environment marked by holistic care in a community of others who had overcome exploitation.

She was so malnourished when she arrived that, in the first couple of days, she put on more than five pounds as her new sisters shared their lunches.

Noorjahan is growing in her skill and in her hope as she is finding strength in freedom.

Help other women like Noorjahan find strength in freedom.

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