MAMA OF THE MONTH: PRIYA SWAI

In June, we announced that our next partnership is with The Tamar Project in Sonagacchi, a red light district in Kolkata India. At Tamar, women and children are guided into a life of freedom from the sex trade through a program that meets their physical and emotional needs.

We are currently trying to raise $9,000 to send the 27 social and medical workers at Tamar through a training course that will better equip them to handle the psychological and emotional trauma that these women and children have experienced at the hands of traffickers. (At this moment, we have raised about 1/4 of that goal, so thanks for that, Mamas!)

We are so excited to introduce you to the face of the Tamar Project. Meet Priya Swai. Priya was born and raised in Kolkata, India where she attended an English medium school through a sponsorship program. Through hard work and dedication, she was able to attend college in Washington to receive her degree in nursing. Three years ago, she joined the team at Freeset when she was hired to maintain a systematic health system for the ladies working at Freeset Bags & Apparel, an economic empowerment program designed to teach rescued women a skilled trade that pays a living wage.

Priya says that she had always been passionate about women’s rights and empowerment, and her present job allows her to have a direct impact on the women of Tamar and the surrounding area. Over time, Priya’s role has grown to encompass so much more than nursing. She values deeply the relationships she has built with the women who receive services at Tamar and loves that she has the opportunity to mentor and provide group therapy for new trainees at Freeset Bags & Apparel. Priya counts it a privilege to stand with these women as they take steps toward freedom.

Priya credits her mother for the lessons she has learned and says her mother’s guidance and love have made her who she is today. About her mother, Priya says, “I have learned to be a hard worker and treat everyone with respect. Also, being brought up in a male-dominant society, my mom has never thought me to be any less than a boy. She has never treated me indifferently or deprived me of anything. She has brought me up as a strong and independent individual. She has a huge influence on me and I admire her. In the future, I want to be a mother just like her.”

We at Somebody’s Mama are only able to do what we do because of Priya’s commitment to the women of Sonagacchi. We are so proud to call her a new friend and appreciate her dedication to making the world a better place for women whom many have forgotten. Today, we honor Priya and thank her for her leadership so that we might be just a small part of this story.