Freeset - BLOG

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How can I make a difference when I can't even keep up with the dishes?

Posted by: Kristi Griem
Aug 18, 2011


I am passionate about freedom: specifically for over 10,000 women in a red light district of Kolkata, India.

Last year my heart was ruined for these women and my heart was changed for those who had no voice.


If you are like me, you are buried under laundry, drowning in dishes, and continually cleaning floors, wiping counters, and more. The only change you see are diapers or toilet paper rolls.

You can change the world from your computer, from your living room or desk. You can help mothers have a job with dignity, feed their children, have health insurance, and provide daycare for them while they work.

I traveled to Calcutta over a year ago and began working with Freeset, an organization that is devoted to providing women freedom from human trafficking and the sex trade. Within a one-mile radius of Freeset, located in Sonagacchi (Kolkata’s largest red light district) 10,000 women are working in the sex trade and they service 20,000 men a night. I walked ‘the line’ (prostitution line) and while horrified at all the filth, rats, trash and stench that filled area where this was taking place, I saw hope.

Hope was in Sandya, a Freeset girl no longer in the line, calling out from her window, eating dinner with her family. It was in Rita - also a Freeset girl no longer in line, smiling brightly, saying hello as she carried her bag of vegetables back for the evening. Hope was in so many others that smiled from inside their homes at us as we passed – lights in their community, no longer bound by the trade. I also saw the women who came every day hoping to be employed by Freeset. After years of being ‘broken’ they had grabbed hold of a new choice they were being offered – a choice for freedom. However, these women can only be employed through the increase of bag and t-shirt sales.

The sale of tote bags equals women’s freedom.

Freedom for 10,000 women in Kolkata and beyond that another 20,000 women farther north in Murshidabad where many of those in Kolkata’s red-light districts are trafficked from. At Freeset, we have a vision to open an additional location in Murshidabad, to employ women there, before they are trafficked. Stopping the cycle at source. While it may seem a lofty goal, it is not.

30,000+ women are waiting for hope.

Waiting for freedom.

We can be a voice for these women. We are part of the solution to change the world and eradicate this form of modern-day slavery. You don't have to leave the country. The dishes, laundry, and more can still be managed while we work to end this evil in our lifetime. Check out the Freeset bags that directly lead to women's freedom.

There are 9,820 women that need the opportunity to work in dignity and gain freedom in Kolkata. I can't think of a better way to change the world from your doorstep. The freedom of women across the world is depending on it. Learn about Freeset - it changed my life, it can change your life, and it will change the lives of 10,000 women.

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