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Fresh start in life with a lipstick smile

- 13 trafficked girls after rescue get training & jobs in hospitality industry

A 20-year-old waitress gives a welcoming smile as she takes orders from a table at a premium restaurant in the capital. Neatly turned out in black trousers and a white collared shirt, hair tied in a bun and sporting a neutral shade of lipstick, she looks like any other trained hospitality professional.

Only, she is a gutsy survivor of trafficking and one of the 13 rescued girls who have found jobs recently in the capital’s hospitality industry as either waitresses or housekeepers.

Sanjay Mishra, head of NGO Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, which in collaboration with Save the Children initiated Sankalp, a livelihood rehabilitation project for rescued girls, said he was proud of the 13 girls who had bagged jobs in the hospitality industry in the past couple of months.

“They are all village girls rescued from different cities within the span of a year. We had trained a separate batch as security guards. This year, we started a three-month course in housekeeping. After the girls got jobs, they were again trained at their workplaces for another two or three months,” Mishra said.

The girls were trained at the state-aided shelter for rescued girls, Kishori Niketan at Bijupara village, in Ranchi’s Chanho block. “We are regularly in touch with hotels that require additional manpower in housekeeping and at their restaurants. You can call it our placement effort,” Mishra said, adding their main aim was to provide the girls a decent livelihood and stop further migration.

Of the 13 girls, five have bagged jobs at Holiday Home near Chandni Chowk in Kanke, three at Hotel Green Horizon near the station, four at Hotel Green Acres near the airport and one at Hotel Capitol Hill on Main Road.

Aged between 19 and 30, they have all passed their matriculate or intermediate.

“This life is beyond my expectations,” said the 20-year-old at Holiday Home. “I get a salary, free accommodation and food,” she said, adding that she also loved her uniform. “When I look smart, I feel smart.”

Another girl, still 19, said she was from Hedgaon village in Khunti district. “We couldn’t afford to dream of a better life before,” she said. “Now, I have decided to learn computers with my salary and also help my brother and sisters back in the village,” she said.

Another girl from Khunti said she enjoys the 12 hours of work. “I am overjoyed to meet guests from different backgrounds. Many are high-profile people who appreciate our services and encourage us to continue with this job. Our life has completely changed,” she said, adding she was eagerly waiting for her first salary.

Assistant manager Irfan Alam of Hotel Holiday Home said the girls were doing an “excellent” job.

Maitri Roy, housekeeping executive of Hotel Green Horizon, said they gave a three-month training to the recruits. “Initially, the girls were shy and hesitant. After training, their confidence grew in leaps and bounds. Our guests are also happy with them,” she said.

Do you have a message for these bravehearts? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com


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