JVI’s New Freedom Partner

“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.

Sari Bari 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
Everyone’s first day at Sari Bari is celebrated with a birthday cake. The staff gathers around on these special days to celebrate and encourage the new women as they take their first step toward freedom and a new life.

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.
JVI’s Shop for Freedom,markets and sells several of Sari Bari’s products including purses, baby blankets, pillow covers and jewelry rolls.  JVI is also providing a range of business legal services, through our team of pro bono lawyers, to help Sari Bari structure operations to bring sustained freedom.

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