From Daughter of Sex worker to NY University: A life story

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Life story of Ashwini is something not many people had to go through in their lives. But on a positive note , the people who go through the struggles like Aswini’s, often achieved dreams of life. Here is an extra ordinary story of a girl who was born to a sex worker in Mumbai of India and then  selected for New York University scholarship. Tha Lifestyle found her story on her personal testimony at a Facebook blog and narrated here.
Her childhood experience would be a one of the many stories of Indian children in the slums of many cities. The children are often abused , beaten and offered broken future by the society. Vulnerable children facing sexual abuse and eventually offered to become sex workers or child workers or criminal job without any choices. Aswini , faced same future , as she escaped from her abuse mother in the first place.
“I’ve been running my whole life. When I was 5, I ran away from my mother who was a sex worker and would beat me up black and blue for something as trivial as losing her lipstick. One of my earliest memories of her, is when I was playing hide and seek with my friends in a building and by mistake I pushed a row of bikes parked at the back and they all collapsed. The watchman locked us in the building and went to complain to our mothers, and then I saw my mother running towards me with a broom in her hand, screaming …I was so scared, I ran away as fast as I could. ” Ashwini Says.
Often NGOs is India have been praised for protecting the runaway children but once again there are reports that even some children find the continuation of abuse in so called ‘shelters’. Ashiwini also faced a wrong cave , where she could not find a relief from abuse. She said  “At 8, she finally sent me to an NGO shelter home where I spent many years running from the teacher’s beatings. It was a Christian hostel, and if we didn’t follow even one of their rules we would be beaten and starved for days. My mother passed away during this time, so I took this abuse for 10 years because I didn’t know any better. “
But there are many good NGOs and charities who really change the lives of these Children.
Ashwini at last found her safe heaven at Kranti , an NGO which changes the lives of girls in India.  “A few of my friends however, managed to run away to a place called Kranti which looks after girls like me…they told me of a better life and encouraged me to follow them.
I finally took the brave step of running away to them and that’s when my life changed. At Kranti, I had therapy every week and learned about art, dance, and other forms of therapy. After I learned all these things, I started volunteering to help other kids. My favourite activity is volunteering at Tata Memorial Hospital, where I bring art activities for children who are waiting for cancer treatment. Together we do art projects that help the kids to express their fears, their problems and their hopes. For the last two years, I travelled all of India, learning theatre in West Bengal, attending photography class in Himachal, volunteering with NGOs in Gujarat, and working with Dalit communities in Delhi.  ”  She Says.
At last Ashwini found her ultimate dream became real when New York University offered a Scholarship.
Ashwini finally quotes,
“My experiences convinced me that I wanted to be an art therapist and spend my life helping others who found it difficult to express. I applied to New York University and got in with a big scholarship— my entire tuition is covered! For me, this was the biggest validation — that I could get into a college of my dreams, study what I love and make a difference all while the police is still running after me to drag me back to the hostel I ran away from. But I’m finally stopping to run. I’m finally finding peace and stillness within me and the hope of a better tomorrow… the hope of a second chance to live a different life and to finally just…be.”
A charity blog opened to support her has attracted enough funding to support her with additional expenses.
 Ashwini’s Thank Note:


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