“Anoek Shanti Paysi (we got lot of peace now),” chorused the participants of the first special Art of Living workshop for sex workers in Bangladesh. The Mirpur premises of the Social and Economic Enhancement Program seemed transformed in just few days of the course. Yoga, games, meditation and relaxation processes helped them relieve the bottled-up angst that these girls have experienced in life. Sad, brooding faces broke into huge smiles on the last day of course. Many of them said that they had never experienced such peace before. “This program has helped us let go of our dark past and given hope to start life anew,” they shared.
The girls celebrated their new-found inner freedom when they freely performed at a talent show held on the concluding day of the stress relief program. The freedom with which they displayed their skill in drama, music and dance left Fatima Afroz and Dhwani, Art of Living instructors, and Oishi, an organizer amazed.
Thanks to the workshop, these girls have embarked on a journey towards rehabilitation. The Art of Living is committed towards complete rehabilitation of the girls. Follow up meditation and yoga sessions along with counseling will be conducted regularly to help them pursue the journey towards integrating with the mainstream.
The Art of Living was also a part of the launch of the Trafficking Survivors Foundation (TSF) in Bangladesh in April 2011. This foundation is dedicated towards saving trafficked women and rehabilitating them. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, minister for women and child affairs, Bangladesh, who inaugurated the program, has promised full support to the initiative.
Contact Sajeev Menon (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can support or organize similar programs in Bangladesh