This unit was established by Fatima. Secret Projects met Fatima in West Bengal through Justice and Care, an international anti-human trafficking organisation. Fatima was a survivor. She was lured away from her rural home by traffickers who promised her a job and an education. She said that if she had only been able to earn around Rs 2000 a day she would not have left home. Instead of a regular job, Fatima found herself sold into one of India notorious brothels and was thrown into a world of daily beatings, rape, torture and abuse. Mean while her parents grew more and more worried when they hadn’t heard from her and got in touch with Justice and Care who were able to get her out of the terrible situation in a rescue operation that was conducted along with the local police.
Despite everything that had happened to her, Fatima she was delighted at being reunited her family. As part of her healing and rehabilitative journey she went through a basic tailoring programme and learnt to be a skillful seamstress. And in due course, she not only supported her family but also set up a tailoring unit to help other women in her area earn an income - thus ensuring their vulnerability to being trafficking was greatly reduced. Meeting Fatima inspired a lot of what we do in the Secret Sari Dress Project. Fatima taught us that, in the state of West Bengal, sustainable livelihood is empowering and provides women with a life of dignity, hope and stability not only for them but also for their entire family.