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Girl power

There are many reasons a girls ends up in our care. Pramila was 15 when her very poor family thought she would be better provided for at a government hostel. While the institution provided the basics, the prison-like atmosphere prompted her and seven other girls to break out in the dead of night. Pramila immediately sought out the 30-year-old married man she had been having an affair with before she entered the home and moved in with him until she was found by her worried father six months later.

He promptly returned her to the hostel and filed a rape complaint against the man, who is also father to a 13-year-old. Given that Pramila had found it so easy to slip out of the hostel unnoticed, a district judge ruled that it was not a safe home for the vulnerable girl. He issued a court order that she be sent to one of the best homes available with a reputation for keeping its beneficiaries safe, happy and secure, that home was Snehalaya.

Pramila moved to our Rehab Centre four months ago and has settled in really well, taking to the stage at our recent Ganpati Chaturthi festival to sing in front of our other 250 children. As her heavenly voice drifted across campus it was impossible to tell that she has lengthy and potentially traumatic legal actions ahead of her. Fortunately, our counsellors and staff are well trained in this area and have been helping her prepare. For now, she is focusing on her final year of school and her ambition to become a police officer to help others like her who are taken advantage of by older men.

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