How does one turn suffering into strength and inspire those who suffer, to rise? To answer this question, there can be no better example than Sunita Krishnan.

From a young age, she has always been inclined to helping children and opening their minds with education. It was during one of these episodes when Sunita was subjected to the immense trauma of gang rape at the tender age of 15. However, she consciously decided to not be a silent victim but to turn her anger into something constructive. She dedicated her life to correcting society’s tendency to blame the victim than the one who was guilty for the crime.

She travelled to Hyderabad and came to know of a brothel that was being shut down. She met the sex workers who wanted nothing for themselves, but wished for her to attend to their kids.

The thought that these children would be dragged into the same bleak environment that their mothers would currently live in, spurred Sunita to begin the foundation - Prajwala. With barely any money, and just a pair of gold earrings on her, she sold it off to get some money and began taking the children under her wing in the slum areas of Hyderabad. She has helped rescued almost 3200 girls, and in the bargain, has also been subject to physical violence.

Inspite of such obstacles, Prajwala went to become an anti-trafficking organization that is actively involved in preventing women and children from getting entrapped in the chains of prostitution. After rescuing the girls and the women, she helps them get an education and provides them with vocational training in activities such as carpentry, masonry, welding etc.

Sunita is an inspiration to all of us – that a woman, on her own terms, can impact society positively. She may have undergone some of the worst traumas in her life, but she still can make society take note of her, if she works towards to it.

We have so much to learn from her example – each and every woman in Indian society has the power to positively impact society. Imagine then, 49% of India’s voters who are women, using their combined power as a voter’s bloc – will our democracy be able ignore this power?

Let’s not allow that to happen – let’s utilize the #PowerOf49!

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