Laxmi’s Story

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“I should be thankful for you, you changed my life, now I can provide for my kids”

Laxmi was considered a normal participant in society until an unexpected tragedy changed her entire life. Laxmi’s husband passed five years ago, leaving her trapped in one of the most dreaded situations among women in India, living as a widow. In India, widows are subject to harsh treatment and brutal societal beliefs. A widow is sometimes called "pram" or creature, because it was only her husband's presence that gave her human status. They are often blamed for their husband’s death and considered unclean and unlucky, so Laxmi could not receive any invitation to rituals, celebrations, or social gatherings. The culture of her village forces her to be in mourning the rest of her life; she is prohibited from wearing any fancy jewelry and expected to follow a strict diet rejecting many pleasurable foods. The shame she receives from her community leaves her trapped inside her house and the lack of education leaves her with no opportunity to provide food for her three children. Hopeless and living in despair, she fell into the same mentality of widows all over India. Several of which can be caught saying, "I want nothing more now from life. I'm just waiting for death." Many widows like her in India revert to begging or prostitution to make a meager living. Some widows will even sell their children or sell their daughters in prostitution to survive.
 

Despite the cruelty of the world, God set his heart and hand on her. Rahab’s Rope came in contact with Laxmi through a local partner and knew that it was God’s intention to care for her. We eagerly asked her to join our human trafficking prevention program in Goa through our women’s training center. His mercy guided us to offer her employment, through which she crotchets headbands, scarves, and sews rice bag purses each month to provide her children with food. Through Rahab’s Rope, Laxmi for the first time has been able to have steady employment. In the past few months, Laxmi has become far more than just an employee… she has become a part of our family. As we were spending time with her one day, she said, “I am so thankful that you love me. Because no one in India will.”

 

When she received her first paycheck, her tender eyes filled with tears and she wrapped her arms around us and thanked us for giving her an opportunity to provide for her children. It is an incredible thing to look into the eyes of woman and know that you have not given her a free hand out, but a hand up. She takes so much pride in her work and this employment opportunity allows her to hold her head high with dignity in the midst of an oppressive society!

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