Gowri wanted to protect her children. Instead, they suffered in slavery.
She reached her breaking point when she saw the slave owner beat her 2-year-old daughter with a thorny branch—just for playing with a water tap.
Gowri had endured many beatings in slavery but she couldn’t bear to see her children suffering too.
"Don’t you have any sense?” she shouted as her daughter wailed in fear and pain. "How can you beat little children with thorns?”
The owner was filled with rage at Gowri’s bold defiance. He threw Gowri down and stomped on her stomach. She spent days recovering in agony until she was forced to work again.
"No one stood up for me,” she cried to herself. "And no one will.”
Gowri is a community leader and a member in the Released Bonded Labourers’ Association (RBLA), and lobbies for legal entitlements for her community members. She is a fiery speaker who continues to inspire other community members to stand up for their rights.
Update: March 2020
We have some exciting news to share. Gowri is a grandmother!
Her oldest daughter, Kamatchi, recently had a baby girl, who they named Shalini. Her younger daughter Revathi loves school, is a bright student and is preparing to take her 8th-grade final public exams, and her son, Deena, is now 14 years old. Gowri gets to enjoy seeing her children and now her grandchild thrive in freedom.
Just as she always has she still lives by the words of her grandmother, who would tell her throughout her childhood,