When Jasmine* was born, her father left the family because he wanted a baby boy and not a girl. Jasmine’s mother was a commercial sex worker in Kamathipura who struggled to provide for her children alone. She had to attend the customers with her new born child; a situation that no mother should go through. After the kids grew up, Jasmine and her siblings were sent to be a part of our day care center and night shelter every day as their mother had to work at the brothel.
Jasmine has been a part of our after-school programme for children and stays back in the night shelter until 10 pm. Our staff noticed that she often imitated her mother in the way she spoke and acted as that was all she saw back at home. At a young age, she was exposed to the activities in the red-light area. Children learn from what they see. Our well-equipped staff met with Jasmine’s mother and explained the effects that this environmentand actions have on her child and how she can curb it. Counselling and parenting sessions have helped the mother – daughter develop a good relationship together and spend quality time that enables a healthy holistic growth of Jasmine.
For the past two years, Jasmine attends a local government school and has accustomed to a structured and disciplined lifestyle. She is taught about good choices, safe and unsafe touch and other important things at our center. Our staff have witnessed her blossom into an ambitious and bright girl. She is enthusiastic and is always up to any challenge in her academics. Jasmine is very good with numbers and always aspires to finish her work ontime. Not just in academics but she has reached a milestone in developing her emotional intelligence. Jasmine often withdrew when she was unhappy and when our staff spoke to her, she said that she could not express or identify what she was feeling. We helped her identify her emotions and through life skill sessions helped her understand, use, and manage her emotions in a positive way.
Children who live in the red-light areas can thrive with a change of environment, role models and direction. Jasmine is a good example for this.