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Once a victim of Child Marriage, living in an oppressive home – Now an Empowered, strong women, dreaming of a brighter future for herself and her children

Struggling to stay afloat and build an identity for herself, Santosh joined DiDi’s in 2015. She came from an oppressive, dark home with 6 men (6 brothers), one of which was her husband. The constant harassment, discrimination, abuse and suffocation at home, was far from what Santosh had imagined life would be. She was married at a young age of 17 without a complete understanding of what a partnership / marriage would mean. She slowly understood that marriage for her was not happiness – it was in fact a prison where she lost herself to serving an alcoholic, unemployed husband.

She soon became a young mother and in the process found some interim joy – however that was not sustained happiness as she was not happy from within. Her inability to make choices, having no voice or no identity of her own, would frustrate her. She suffered this life for 7 years – a life of domestic violence, gender-based violence and abuse as she did not think that there was an alternative option. She had just resigned herself to her destiny. Till one day she heard about DiDi’s from a neighbor, who was working with DiDi’s. These two women met while DiDi’s was conducting a community mobilization campaign in Santosh’s neighborhood in Lucknow.

Santosh, much against the wishes of her husband and the rest of family, came to work at DiDi’s. She is now a cook with DiDi’s, and has learned how to cook vegetables, rice, roti (bread) and many other Indian delicacies. Not only is she skilled in the art of cooking, but she is also trained in customer relationship management, inventory management and is now aspiring to be a driver with DiDi’s Drivers!

Santosh has found herself through her work and is living a life of satisfaction and appreciation. She is her happiest self while she is at work at DiDi’s, with her friends and the whole DiDi’s family! Her financial and emotional independence – has strengthened her courage (and her smile) to move her life forward towards a personal mission to succeed. She is a proud successful cook on a mission and is also educating her 2 children with the money she earns by cooking food at DiDi’s. Her aspirations of becoming a driver are strong and she dreams of driving the DiDi’s food delivery van very soon!

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