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Women should never give up

- By: Swati - 

I was just 13-years-old when my elder sister was getting married. Since I looked older than her, my uncle suggested that I should get married too, to save money. My parents thought it was a good idea.

After marriage, it was like my husband’s family had bought me. They wouldn’t even allow me to meet my parents. My husband then got into an extra marital affair. He would come home late, drunk and would fight and beat me up. They would only give me one meal a day. Sometimes I would be so hungry I would go to our neighbour’s house to ask for food.

When I was 18 I became pregnant and at the same time began struggling with depression. My mental state got so bad they kept me chained in the house so I wouldn’t run away. I don't even know when my baby boy was born but it happened during this time.

Eventually my mother found out about my condition and came to take me away. It took me three months to become normal - this is when I remembered that I had a baby. He lives with his father now.

Soon after my recovery, my parents had an accident and my father (who was a vegetable seller) couldn't work anymore. I decided to work to support my family. Since I had only studied till Class VIII the only job I could get was as a domestic worker. While I was working in a few houses, my mother saw a poster of the ‘Women on Wheels’ program by Azad Foundation - which trains women to become drivers - and my family encouraged me to join. I took the training for eight months and have been driving for the last four years.

Women should never give up on life. My mother never gave up on me. Many neighbours told her - don’t send your daughter for this job, who knows what she will do at night - but my mother believed in me and told them that she trusts me. Now young girls living in my area tell their parents that they also want to driver cars like me.

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