Second Chance at life

''I vividly remember playing around with my friends as an 11-year-old girl. I was never admitted in a school. One day, my mother walked to me and said I was supposed to become a Jogini, where I have to dedicate my life for the service of the deity we believe in. A ceremony with the attendance of the entire village was held for the same. I had no clue what was happening around me. All I could see was people celebrating the whole ritual that was happening around me. I was quite docile. I followed every instruction from my parents. I was made to dance during festivals and jataras. It was only when I hit my puberty, I started to understand what was happening with me. I was baffled to know that as a Jogini, I have to gratify all the sexual needs of the doras in the village. I was made to work in the fields, beg around for food and stay put at the temple. I was traumatised, to say the least. The doras exploited me sexually and I could no longer stand the atrocity. My health too was at stake. I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I finally mustered the courage to break the shackles and take the help of local authorities. The government authorities rescued me and admitted me in a rehabilitation centre. They helped me leave the whole Jogini life of mine behind and start my life on a clean slate. They trained me in tailoring. The whole process of leaving the baggage behind and starting afresh was not easy. Apart from being given a new life, I was also given legal entitlements from the government as former Jogini. I am eternally thankful to the authorities, who gifted me this new beautiful life. All it took was one brave step to protect myself and change my life. Sometimes, we have got to be our own saviours.'' 

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