Nilu grew up in a temple in Nepal. Her parents died when she was a child. She was only 15 when she gave birth to her daughter after she was raped by an unknown man. From a carefree teen to a young mother struggling to make ends meet, life changed quickly for her. But her problems didn't end.
Nilu says she was approached by a man who promised to help her but the reality was something else. "I was cooking on the chulha one day when he called me and said, 'if you come with me I will take you to my sister's place in India. There won't be any tension of money then". However after I reached Pune, I realised that I wasn't going to work as domestic help. The 'sister' he had mentioned was a brothel keeper and I had been sold for Rs. 1 lakh", she confessed. She also revealed she was beaten with sticks and slapped until she bled by her agent and forced to sleep with men.
"Once I came to Mumbai, life was pretty different. I started willingly going for the kind of work which I refused earlier because I had no other way to feed my daughter. I used to leave her with a lady nearby who I paid Rs. 4000 every month. By this time I was already infected with TB and HIV. I was a lost and wasted life, when I was young itself", she told Humans of Bombay.
After 9 years as a sex worker, an alcohol addiction and HIV infection, Nilu has managed to start life again with the help of an NGO. She now dreams of living with her daughter some day and giving her a good life. "The strength I've had these past few years have been solely because I'm a mother...else I'd have given up long back. But I won't give up - I'm not ready to let these men, who came night after night to break me. I'm a fighter...I won't let them win.", she said.
You can read her full story here
The post is part of an initiative by Humans of Bombay and NGO Purnata to raise funds to rehabilitate women like Nilu and other victims of human trafficking, by educating them and providing economic opportunities.