Toma L

Artisan: textiles

My name is Toma. As a child I was abused. A local man offered me a job and accommodation just outside Dhaka. I discovered he was married with two daughters, but he wanted to marry again to have a son. We married and I became pregnant. My husband, convinced the child was a girl, started asking for a dowry. My family could not afford to pay this money, so he left me.


When I was seven months pregnant, I gave birth to a son. I ended up living at the Mazar [a local religious shrine where women and children are at high risk of exploitation]. There I met a woman who was in a training programme run by CUP, which I visited and eventually joined. My husband returned to live with us.


After training with CUP, I started working with Basha Enterprises. Now I have the opportunity to work hard and earn money.