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Meet Naina*. At the tender age of 16, her family pressurised her into getting married with an already married man and a father to a child.

Not even a month into the marriage, she experienced physical and mental abuse by her alcoholic husband. And a few months later, she got pregnant. With no medication and extreme negligence by her husband and in-laws resulted in severe health issues. Naina was then sent to her mother’s home for the birth of her child and since then, her husband has remained uncontactable. With no source of income, she was at her parents’ expense and was blamed by neighbours and relatives for her fate.

The project ‘Samudaya Abhivruddhi’ was initiated by Bal Raksha Bharat in Bharthi’s village in Karnataka, including 19 other villages in the state. Naina was one of the beneficiaries who received support from Bal Raksha Bharat to set a shop in her village.

From being dependant, she became economically independent.

“We have so much power within us. But still there are many women who are unaware of it and are suffering in silence. I was one such woman. At one point in time, I wanted to finish my life. But, today, I am an entrepreneur, earning my living and educating my child,” says 30-year-old Naina.

*Name and image of the child have been changed to ensure the safety.

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