My Story: I Have had An Unbelievable Journey, From A Dalit Child-Bride To An Owner Of A Multi-Million Dollar Company

From our friends at
Humans of Bombay
Maharashtra

September 18th, 2018 / 11:54 AM

Kalpana Saroj

Image Credits: Humans Of Bombay/Facebook

“I was born in a Dalit family, in a village in Akola. When I was 12, everyone pushed my dad to get me married to a man, 10 years my senior, who lived in Mumbai. My dad didn’t want to, but because of societal pressure, I was married off.

I came here and learned that his family lived in one room in a slum and he didn’t even have a job. I was treated horribly – if there was extra salt in the food I cooked or any mistakes I made, I was beaten up by my in-laws… It was my personal hell.

After 6 months, my father visited me – he couldn’t even recognize me. I was in ragged clothes and I’d lost my smile. He fought with my in-laws and took me home. Telling me to forget about it like a bad dream.

But people started blaming me. I even tried to commit suicide – and they still said that I was giving up because I HAD done something wrong, not the other way around. It was then that I realised that if I was going to be blamed in any case, I’d rather live.

With this new leaf turned, I returned to Mumbai and worked as a tailor. That was the first time I saw what Rs 100 looked like. I rented a room in Kalyan for my savings and called my family here. We were managing fine – but when we couldn’t afford to save my sister’s life, I realised that I needed to make more money for my family. So I took a government loan and started my own furniture business. It was doing well and we began living a better life.

But there were so many people out there struggling, just like I used to. So I started an NGO to help them get loans. Sometimes, I helped them out of my own pocket and slowly built a good reputation for my social work.

Which is why the workers of Kamani Tubes asked me to help save their company. It was tied up in 140 litigation cases, with a debt of 116 crores. Everyone told me that it was suicide – but 500+ families were starving! So I chose to help, wanting nothing but justice for them in return. I spoke to the finance minister and he got the debt reduced. I gathered a team and shifted factories. Everything I tried was new – but there was no fear left in me.

In 2006, I became the chairman. We were told to pay off the bank loans within 7 years. We did it within 1 and we even managed to pay the workers. Slowly and surely, things changed and today, the turnover is more than we could dream of, I was even awarded the Padma Shri in 2013 for my work. I’ve had an unbelievable journey, from a Dalit Child-Bride to an owner of a multi-million dollar company. It’s been tough – but I’ve made sure to never let the fear of challenges overpower me. I took me a long time to learn that, but now that I have, I can’t choose to face life without having full faith in myself.”


Story By – Kalpana Saroj


If you too have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story

at [email protected]

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

India No Longer The Largest No Of Poor Study

India’s Extreme Poor Decrease From 125 Million In 2016 To 73 Million People In 2018: Study

B S Yeddyurappa’s Journey From A Clerk, Hardware Store Owner To Being A Three-Time CM

Piyush Goyal’s Wife’s Company Received Unsecured Loan From Company That Defaulted On Rs 650 Crore: Report

Child bride at 13, now an international wrestler

Police Bust Child Bride Racket In Hyderabad, 20 People Arrested, Including Sheikhs From Oman & Qatar

6 crore trees MP

MP: 1.5 Million Volunteers Plant 66 Million Trees In 12 Hours In A Record-Breaking Environmental Drive

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Sikkim Wins UN Award For Becoming World’s first Organic state

Get Inspired

This 10-Yr-Old From Jalandhar Won The Young Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2018 Award

News

Dehradun: School Allegedly Denies Admission To A 16-Yr-Old Because She Is Rape Survivor

News

Telangana: Grievance Redressal System For 23 Rural Development Schemes Reduced To 4; Lakhs Affected

Awareness

The Three Judges Cases: How Three Judgments Made The Modern Indian Judiciary

News

Asianet Says They Acted In Accordance With Law In Sexual Harassment Case Filed Against Abhinav Khare

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.