News From India: Munni's Story
Munni has been trapped in one of India’s largest red light districts since she was 13
years old. Like so many stories we hear, a stranger convinced Munni’s father that
there was a job as a house cleaner for her in Mumbai, only to sell her to a brothel in
Kamatipura. Her father would soon pass away, never learning of his daughter’s true
Munni was forced to work and within only a few months found herself pregnant from
one of the customers. She gave birth to a baby boy and, along with her newborn son,
was moved to another brothel, this one on the notorious Falkland Road. After arriving,
Munni was introduced to another worker who was raising a daughter. Like in Munni’s
situation, the father was a customer. He continued visiting and was abusive towards
both her and the girl. When she heard that Munni was planning to move away and
enroll her son in a proper school, she begged her to take her daughter as well.
She was able to find a school that would accept both children and returned with the
daughter to Falkland Road to tell the mother the good news. The mother told Munni
that she was going to take her daughter on a picnic to celebrate before she left.
Instead, she took her to the father and told him what was happening.
He beat the daughter so badly that she had to be hospitalized. When Munni found
out she ran to the hospital. To keep the girl from telling Munni about the beating, the
mother smothered her with a pillow and killed her.
When the police came the mother told them that Munni was trying to steal her
daughter and abuse her. The police believed the mother and Munni was arrested
and sent to prison for two years. During this time her son was watched over by other
prostitutes in her former brothel.
She has since been released but the case is still open and may result in additional jail
time. Munni was forced back to work in the red light where she again became pregnant
from another customer.
Oasis learned about Munni’s situation during our outreach work in Mumbai. We
brought her to the Aruna Center for counseling and invited her to stay in our transitional
care facility, Nirmal Bhavan. While living with us, Munni was able to find a job, but
soon after she left, we lost contact with her. Months later we learned that she had
been hospitalized, but was now living in Asha Dan, a Catholic home for the poor and
[ Article was submitted by Daniel, an Oasis USA intern in India. If you want to know more about
Daniel's time in India, check out his blog: http://www.indiayear.blogspot.com/ ]