Puja Munda: Learning to lead

Puja Munda, 17 years

A father who does not work and a mother earning a meagre income from selling vegetables and homemade alcohol meant that money was always scarce for the six-member family.

When she was in class III, her parents sent Puja to Ranchi to work as domestic help. After three years of misery, she refused to work as domestic help. Puja and her youngest sister were sent to stay in a different village at a relative’s place.

She was identified as a child trafficking victim by an Aahan Program Coordinator. Her transformation was challenging. It began with the coordinators having discussions with her parents to convince them to stop sending her to work as domestic help.

Puja went through trauma healing sessions, foundational level learning programs, and healing through the arts program. She was enrolled in school and continues to participate in various Aahan programs.

She wanted to learn singing and is being trained in classical singing by one of Aahan Change Ambassadors.

Impact

When Aahan Foundation started the Urjaa Fellow program, she applied for it and was selected to be the Lead Urjaa Fellow. She is studying in Class 11th through Aahan Open School Program. To help other girls, Puja has started a night tuition class for the kids who have discontinued their education due to some reasons. Her sisters are also part of Aahan now.

She is part of the Aahan Foundation’s door to door campaign to create awareness about prevalent gender-based violence among girls.

Her dream is to become a singer and work as a social worker delivering quality education at the foundation level.