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What has happened in your life since you came to Sari Bari? What are the dreams you have for the future? What do you hope will happen through Sari Bari in the future? The responses were hesitant at first. But they came with power and meaning. 

They spoke of finding freedom for the first time. Being able to see a future for themselves, wanting safe places for home and family. Jiya said that she hopes that there will be a Sari Bari in every red light area in Kolkata and 300 Sari Bari’s in India. Laxmi remarked that so many women are wandering in darkness still, they do not even know that they can have freedom. Her desire is for them to know what she knows for herself.

Dreams we have dreamed for the women are now becoming the dreams of the women for the other women. At the end I asked a few more questions…how many of you have learned to sign your own name since you came here? More than half the women raised their hands.

Clapping, clapping and lots of smiles.

How many of you have learned to sew since you came here? More clapping. Again more than half the women—the rest knew something of how to sew when they came.

And finally, how many of you have received freedom since working at Sari Bari?

Almost every single woman raised their hands.

Rousing applause.