“I have a daughter who wants to be a doctor. As long as I can work at Sari Bari I can support her education. My hope is to help my daughter to have her dream.” ~ Dolly
Sari Bari offers women a safe place of employment and a new life in the making. They are driven by a belief in community, holism, dignity and empowerment.
The name “Sari Bari” comes from two symbols. A sari is the traditional clothing worn by women in India. A sari represents the essence of womanhood. The wordbari mean “house or home” in the Bengali language.
Sari Bari opened in 2006, after four years of steady presence in the red light areas of Kolkata, India. Kolkata hosts more than 22 red light areas and more than 60,000 women work in its commercial sex industry. Sari Bari operates in two of these red light districts: Sonagacchi and Kalighat.
Sari Bari began, in part, when Sarah, Sari Bari’s Director, met Pinkie as she stood on the line; she was so young—looking raw and humiliated, with unshed tears welling in her eyes. Poverty had led her to the sex trade to support her sick father and two younger brothers. Sarah’s heart broke and she lamented the lack of justice and freedom for Pinkie.
Sari Bari produces beautiful, handmade, vintage sari products. Each Sari Bari product is marked with the name of the woman who made it, and with your purchase, you become a part of her freedom story.
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