Her father left their village in northern Karnataka to find work in Bangalore. He never returned. Three children and the social stigma of being a single mother were more than Suhasini's mother could handle. That is when Suhasini was sold for the first time.
It was only four years later when she went to school again. But for Suhasini, a lifetime had passed before she landed at the orphanage. Reading and writing would get easier once she learned to trust grown-ups again. She missed her mother. Or at least what she remembered of her.
Suhasini was one of the lucky few. She was rescued. Millions of children have been pushed into a life much more horrifying than hers. Having been involved with Asha for Education since 1999, I have met dozens and seen hundreds of children whose life has been altered for the better by organizations fighting child labor and trafficking. Their eyes twinkle with hope and their beaming smiles remind us that while we need to find a strategic solution to this despicable injustice, the tactical solution of taking care of these kids makes the world of difference to them.
This year, Asha for Education is bringing focus to these issues through our annual online fundraiser, "Work an Hour". Please visit http://www.ashanet.org/workanhour to engage and to contribute.
PS: Details of this story have been modified to protect the privacy of the kids involved.