I was married off to a heavy alcoholic at the age of 12. He would hit me, burn me with cigarettes, and regularly made death threats. He and his family did not want the burden of a girl child, and so when they found out I was pregnant, they would take me to the scanning centre. If it was a girl, I would have to abort the child. At first I refused, but following the birth of 3 consecutive girls, they forced me to abort.
I ended up having 5 abortions.
I had a menial labour job and was the only person in the family earning, as my husband would stay at home and drink. This was very exhausting, and the abortions only further tired me out. I thought that this would be my life until Sandhyamma met with our family at a village meeting, counseled us, and took my girls into Aarti Home. She promised me that they would have a good education and a family. I joined the tailoring unit and am now working on building my skills so that I can provide a livelihood for myself and my children, without the burden of my husband. My self-confidence is improving, and I hope that I can become an independent woman. As long as Aarti Home exists, I will continue to work here because my children are doing much better.