Shivani (19) used to work in Ganga Jamuna, the red-light area of the town of Nagpur in Maharashtra. Shivani hails from West Bengal. She had lost both her parents to HIV AIDS when she was very young. After failing the 10th standard exam, she was sold by a relative she was living with into the commercial sex trade in Nagpur.

Habitat for Humanity India partnered with Sharansthan, an organization that looks after the children of women in the sex trade in Ganga Jamuna. We identified 15 women who were interested in alternate livelihood, and provided them with vocational training in tailoring. Shivani was one of these women who enrolled for the course and learnt sewing and tailoring. During the course the women were also given sewing machines that enabled them to start small businesses of their own.

“It was a tough time for me after losing my parents - I did not know what to do, who to turn to for support. I signed up for this vocational training as soon as I heard about it. Now, I’ve started my own business in my house and I earn around INR 200-300 daily. I am very thankful to Habitat for extending a helping hand to me when I needed it the most. They have brought me from darkness to light and made me self-reliant," says Shivani.