Mallika and her family worked as ragpickers, part of the lower classes in India who survived by segregating waste. Her father was an alcoholic, incapable of taking care of her, her mother or her younger brothers. Malliker fell victim to a trafficker who forced her into prostitution. In late 2018, a policeman rescued her and handed her over to the CWC who in turn reached out to us at New Horizons House. Mallika joined us in March 2019.
Once with us Mallika began to focus on her health. She began to eat healthy, nutritious food and grew stronger physically. She was eager to learn and worked hard at her academic studies. She decided to go home to visit her sick mother in early 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown hit and Mallika became trapped at home. The NHH team sprung into action and sent a team down to collect her and bring her home. Back with us in Podu, she was able to continue her education and enter a nursing program at Browning Junior College.
It was here in Browning Junior College that she started playing sports. The coaches immediately recognised her competitive spirit and athletic skills and ability. With the help of her coach she quickly caught up to the same level as the senior students excelling in netball in particular. The team qualified for the state-level tournament where she stood out to scouts and was selected to play as a wing defender on the Indian national team!
“If she enters the court, victory joins her!” – Quote from local newspaper.
For Mallika, playing netball has allowed her to regain the confidence she lost as a victim of sexual abuse. It has given her an important social outlet as she is always surrounded by her teammates who support her. Most of all, she has found real joy in it ! She plans to continue to excel in the sporting field and hopes to secure a state job in a sports development / coaching role!
Stay tuned for next month’s spotlight!