My Story: Married At 13 & Divorced By 19, I Was Left To Fend For Myself & My Daughter At Young Age

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My Story: 'Married At 13 & Divorced By 19, I Was Left To Fend For Myself & My Daughter At Young Age'

Mita Banerjee was married off young and had to pick several odd jobs to provide for her children. Today, as a working woman, she is in a place that gives her the happiness and respect she always hoped to have.

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I am Mita Banerjee, a single mother living with my daughter in a rented home in the city of Calcutta. Coming from a humble family that struggled every day to make ends meet, I wanted to ensure that my children would not have to go through the same struggles as I did. So every day was an effort to make their lives and mine a little bit better than how it was before.

In that journey, I went about picking several odd jobs, from selling chanachur on the streets to helping the workers at the nearby parlour. I came from nothingness, but I was determined to become something, and today I can proudly say that I am in a place that gives me the happiness and respect that I wished to have.

From Washing Utensils And Selling Chanachur On Streets

Both my parents had to go to work to be able to bring food to the table. Back then, we were not in a condition where even one parent could afford to stay back to look after the children. As I got older, living alone became a lot more difficult as the men in the village would always either look or throw uncomfortable comments my way. So by the age of 13, without even giving my final exams in the seventh class, I got married off.

At the age of 16, I gave birth to my daughter, and by 19, my husband divorced me and left. As a single mother with a child to take care of, I did not have much of an option but to take up every odd job that I could find. For a while, I washed utensils and cooked at many homes, then went to the streets to sell chanachur and incense sticks. All along, I had a strong desire to make something out of myself and do something that I genuinely liked doing.

Then I picked up a job as a helper in a nearby parlour and soon became the Head Didi over there. Working there was not any easier than before as we earned very little and often had to deal with problematic people. With all of these going on and working double as hard as anyone there did, I still could not admit my children to a decent school or even get them a proper house to live in. It was disappointing, but I did not give up.

Around this time, one of the parlour workers spoke of an e-commerce agency that hires people to work with diverse clients. It instantly piqued my interest, and I googled the workplace with my daughter. Despite appearing for an interview for the first time ever, I was able to make the cut and rejoiced when the administration informed me that I got selected. I finally had a reply to everyone who thought I would not be able to make it in life.

After a few days of training to get an understanding of the professional beautician level, I met with my first client and earned ₹400. This small amount meant way more than anything I had ever earned in my life, and the joy that I felt at that moment was unexplainable.

I gradually started interacting with more customers and received more earnings in a day. Work became an inevitable part of my life, and I enjoyed every single day of it. What I enjoyed even more, was the respect that came along with it.

The people around me, as well as the work that I did, returned respect to me in ten folds, and this was something entirely new to me. I even got to meet many empowering women and connect with them.

You Reap What You Sow

My mother always told me that hard work never goes to waste, and its result always comes back to you. Today, I believe in these words more than anything.

From a single mother who started off from zero, I have autonomy over my decisions now, and I earn at least ₹50,000 every month. I brought up my children single-handedly and never let them go through any kind of hardships as I went through them.

My daughter is undertaking an air hostess training course now, and soon she will conquer the heights that she has aspired to. For everyone who had questions in their mind as to "How will she manage alone? Will she be able to feed the children? What if she gets into professions that are not honourable by societal standards?" my children are my response.

I just hope that through my story, I can tell women out there not to give up. For all the efforts that they put in, the results would come back to them without a doubt. Women need to stand on their own feet before they should consider ideas such as marriage. Moving ahead should be the thought that we should cultivate among our women rather than tying them to a relationship that could possibly hold them back with dependency.

Also Read: My Story: 'I Have Only Seen Losses In My Life & Beating Challenges Have Been My Journey'

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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Laxmi Mohan Kumar