Monday, August 30, 2010

The pain of betrayal...

Not sure if I should I write at all...there is a deep pain in me but more than that a fear of being misunderstood.
For the past 15 days I have been plagued with threatening and obscene calls. Things went bad to worst when I realized that this person was also stalking me as he would comment on my exact location every time he called. All the calls were made from coin boxes. That was it, I decided things had gone too far,unlike so many other threatening calls that I get everyday which I happily ignore mostly because I can empathize with their frustrations and sometimes also because I sense the grudging respect they have for my work, but this was point blank derogatory and had nothing to do with my work but something to do with my person.

I lodged a police complaint. As my life is under constant threat the police took the complaint very seriously. A manhunt in earnest began.The situation was challenging as all the calls made were from different telephone booths that too from coin boxes. Finally they identified the person and the house he was living but were not able to nab him as the house was locked for 10days. Apparently this character hails from Guntur he already has a wife and two kids whom he has left and is now living with a woman in Hyderabad.

Then one evening my colleague who manages my shelter program was reporting to me about a girl whom we had rescued 7 yrs back and was in advance stages of AIDS and had been just discharged from the care and support center where I had admitted her 10 days back. This girl came to me in advance stages of HIV more or less as a discarded being in of our rescues 7yrs back. We had taken care of her, restored her life and ensured that she was gainfully employed. After staying in my shelter for 3 yrs she had rented a room outside and was working in my organization. We also knew that she had a boyfriend. 10days back when we came to know that she was very sick I had insisted that she should be hospitalized.
As we were talking I get another call on my other phone that this girl's boyfriend has been arrested by the police. I cautioned my staff who called me not get involved till we are not fully aware of the facts of the matter.
In half an hour's time the police called me and reported that my stalker has been arrested and it turns out to be this girl's boyfriend. I was shocked to say the least but imagine my pain when I came to know that the girl was equally involved in this whole endeavor.
I am not able to still understand the motive behind all this...I think the girl is acting under the spell of stockholm's syndrome...
She was a paid a decent salary(Rs 6,000), her health needs were taken care...what more was expected of me?
I do not want the world to think that all victims behave like this...and that is why I am scared to share. Lest people form further judgements about these victims.
But I still have not come in terms with the pain I am going through...only one question haunts me why?
The man is in the jail...I ensured that the girl still has her job( she is sick and needs support). My team does not feel good about my so called 'forgiving attitude'.But I cannot forget that she is dying...


  1. OMG!! Its surprising there can be ANY motive behind this kinda ungrateful behavior!

  2. this is a shit world! and you r trying to find angelss who shud be grateful to you!!!no way!!

  3. Sunitha, you surely are an forgive & help a dying girl live a decent life....

    .....but then my girl these ppl are sick in their mind & there is no logical answer to ur "Why" ??question.....

    ....the only answer is "forgive them , for their sick mind know not what they do"

    All our appreciation goes to you.Keep up ur good work.

  4. I do agree with you Arundathy!

    We are all with you Sunitha!Keep going!

  5. Ouch - that must hurt .. a LOT. What more could you have done for her? But I understand your hesitation in sharing this story. The last thing we want is negative stereotyping of victims .. after all your whole mission is to prevent the victims from being further victimized by the "civil society".

  6. I am sure that this has hurt you a lot.But you are moving on & that is precisely your strength.

    May the Almighty continue to give you strength in your endeavors as you cover many more milestones.

  7. may god bless you ma'am.i am so moved by this post.Gratitude was the only thing anyone would expect and in return such agony and misery..I bow down and salute you for being so compassionate and loving.

  8. i am in short of words ma'am.. i only pray God to give you more and more strength in all possible ways..

    May God bless you..

  9. Estimated Sunitha, his work is misunderstood by many people, however the attitude of forgive and move on, is commendable, I really congratulate her. Pain to understand why these situations happen often bogged down and constantly move forward. Strength and courage! and wisdom of God in everyone. A hug from Chile.

  10. I can't imagine getting any work done with someone stalking you. As for the girl, you're probably right, I'm sure the man was manipulating her in to conniving with him, and perhaps she was too weak to refuse, since you mentioned she was weak and dying. You can breath a sigh of relief now that the ordeal is over, and I'm glad the police helped you. Keep doing your good (and dangerous) work Sunitha.

  11. may be she would have had a reason for doing so... some misinterpretations in a burning heart... only thing important is the cause you are fighting for....

  12. sometimes world is full of ppl who have no regrets n who aren't thankful to ppl like you...just ignore them there r more ppl out there who must be needing your help

  13. Its good this man is in jail and hopefully no longer in her life and yours. Sometimes victims, at a vunerable time in their lives fall for the old lies because it's comforting or consoling in their time of despair. It may not be right but it gets them thru the moment. Then the moment drags on and they get caught in a web of shame and deceit.

    Be strong Sunitha, forgive and speak to her. Maybe she will give you the truth as she sees it. Don't waiver on your good work. God Bless. Andy

  14. Sunitha, I just saw the video that was published of your TED Talk in 2009. I could not agree more with you. I have been in India to work with traumatized people in 2009. You are speaking out what I think and write for a long time. So I came to see your blog and just read about the most recent incident. Of course I am lacking the info about all the details about what happened in detail... still, I think I get a feeling for the situation and would like to share my thoughts honestly with you.
    It feels that the girl was pushed by the "boyfriend" to betray you. Probably the relation is one of dependence of the girl - the gain in self-esteem must be considerable to be desired as a woman having in mind her physical condition and probably her past. She could not make another choice. She never learned to... and if so, she lost this ability during her soul-murder that maybe took place in her past. The so-called "boyfriend" even takes away from her the possibility to reflect your kindness with honesty. Maybe it is the only thing she could give - not even that is left for her by others. From my perspective this is the one culmination of the tragedy of the life of the girl - you now being affected by it, understandably, in a very personal manner. Your forgiveness is not forgiveness at all: It is the deep understanding inside of you that you know 'she could not act differently'. She just could not.
    My heartfelt, best wishes.
    Stay safe, be blessed.

  15. Situations like this present themselves for us to examine what is ours in it...afterall at the end of the day that is all we have control over...nonetheless I am sorry for the anguish this has caused you...I would have done the same as per sw ethics i.e. no punitive measures, no transference...but none the less I would engage in a discussion with the young woman...

    Sunita my name is Rita Kohli and I would like you to contact me at or 905.273.3337 ex 25. The Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel would like to bring you to Canada for our Dec. 6th Gala "And Still We Rise" and more...Please let me know how I can speak with you directly to make this happen...I have not been successful in getting in touch with you...we would be honored to have you as our KEynote address and set up atour here for you... Much Care & In Solidarity,

    Rita Kohli

  16. Sometimes, those who are scarred and persecuted seek that one single moment in time where they can feel powerful. By knowing she / her boyfriend could influence your life... well you may have simply been the powerful vessel from which she thought she could drink

  17. Hi Sunitha,

    I have felt a strong urge to work for abused children right from a very young age. I accidently came across your blog and learnt about your work. It would be wonderful to know more about your work and how people like me can help. Please let me know how I can reach you.

  18. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I just now was sent a copy of your video on TED. I cried while watching it. I, too, was a victim of gang rape- 3 men, when I was 14. All I remember now is the anger. I related fully to your story, and my heart breaks that these things are going on and being hidden and accepted. I wish there was a way that I could help to save these women and children, but I do not know where to start. I adopted two young girls from Ukraine, where this kind of thing is rampant as well. I do not know much of their past and they do not speak of it yet, but we do know that their mother was in prostitution and that they most likely would have ended up the same way.

    In regards to your stalker and the woman that you saved, I can not even begin to fathom how she could be a party to that evil. It is almost as if she psychologically could not let her past remain in her past, and found herself with a boyfriend that would victimize her again because that is all she knew. My heart goes out to you for your pain and the betrayal of this woman.

    You are an angel to these women and children. Please, continue on with your work. We must all try and bring awareness to others and STOP this from perpetuating.



  19. Dear Sunitha, really feeling sorry for you. It is surprising that you still manage to hold on to your faith in humankind. Wishing you good luck. Though my blog is very humble, will try spreading word about you and your work.

  20. Dear Mrs. Krishnan and those who follow her blog,
    I'm a senior at the Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans, Louisiana. After learning all about the efforts you've taken to help better the world we became inspired. We've created a partnership with the UN Foundation's Girl Up and have already raised around $890.00 to help the 50 million girls living in poverty in third world countries.

    Please check out the link and if you feel moved please donate. Thank you.

  21. Hi Sunitha, I would like to meet with you sometime. it seems your site is down. anyway I can contact you? I work with children in the city here.

  22. We should be good, but NOT too good. This selfish society cannot understand the selfless scarifies.
    If you know the girl is also involved, just drop the hot potato. No sin.

  23. Dear Sunita Maam,

    The reason why this could have happened, as i see it, is from a psychological perspective. The girl is probably traumatised with her health conditions and her bad past. It is possible that She is easily vulnerable and hence can be easily influenced. If this is the truth, then i guess its right, in every sense, to forgive her. Ofcourse, what is more important at this juncture, is to make sure that the society at large, do not start stereotyping victims in a negative way.

  24. Dear Dr.Sunitha,
    I agree with what Madhumitha said. And I really appreciate for what you have done. I would say it was the right thing from my perspective. If you had made that girl to loose her job or take away her health care, you would have been no different from the rest of the world.
    Hats off to you!!

    Whatever be the reason for the girl's actions, you are you and I know you will not change for the change in attitude of others!!

    I pray to the almightly to give you courage and strength to continue the good work!

    - Ameerudeen

  25. u have been a great inspiration..keep up the good work..May god bless u!!

  26. Dear Sunithaji,

    I am jayanthi krishnan from Chennai, it was so touching while i happen to see ur TED speech on the FB today, i can't control myself in crying thinking on the kids situation, coz i too have the kids of same age, after that i was searching to know more about you and found how inspirative lady you are. i am so touched and like to be a part of your organization, but my present situation doesnt make it positive now, but i hope i will definelty meet u one day or otherwise will definetly take a small initiative to join with your big organization.. good luck and wish you all the best for this uncomparable journey..

  27. Hi Sunitha, You are more than a wonderful person. May God bless you and would like to extend our support to you. Regards Benny Baby John, Dubai

  28. Hello madam, I have come to know about you and the work you do through a video on face book...i am amazed by your courage, commitment and energy.

    You have inspired me to make my contribution to the society. I hope to do my bit in near future. I wish you a very long and healthy life.

    Best Regards,

  29. Sunitha,

    I just saw your TED speech and now your blog.. all i can say is I am in awe, tears, and respect. What you are doing is close to being God. Please dont let this incident dissuade you from rescuing others. Keep this going. the world needs more people like you.


  30. Hi
    I dont know if what I say will relieve you off your pain, but thats my intention. Sorry, if i am speaking with immaturity-but this is what i have learned from life, life has been my mentor.

    In my humble opinion, everyone in this world has come for a purpose - good or bad. You took up the issues of human trafficking because of what you had gone through. If that had not happened you might have thought otherwise, I suppose, like anyone of us. I dont know if you believe in God, but i do know you believe in what you are doing-which in itself is a form of God.

    I dont even know if I have the right to say, what I am saying - for what you do is a humongous task and I cant even compare myself with you. I have gone through a lot too in my own ways and I am not able to let go of my pain either. But, one day I realised that its the pain and the emotions that are egging me on to do better and motivating me. Moreover, there is no way of understanding the value of happiness without undergoing pain. So cherish the pain and Joy would be just around the corner.

    I think you should look at every person as a void - what I mean is - take a person and then understand what they did or said for a particular instance and then anlayse it. Then bring the person back to void. So this way you have no expectations from the people you work with but also understand that people dont have to be judged based on previous circumstances.

    People change, but it takes time, some undergo minimal change. Again I go back to the core purpose of a person on earth. Imagine a world with only happiness-you will lose the value of happiness and things that give you nothing in return - your broom that assists you in cleaning your place, the mat or bed you sleep in, the plate that you eat in and so on.

    Learning to respect them will reduce a lot of the pain that you are going through, hopefully. This is what has helped me and to top it all - it was a dying dog that taught me this. Nobody wanted to touch that dog because it had some diseases on its skin. One day i patted it and since then it always comes running to me. It knows from far that i am coming and all i did was pat him once. Now, which human can show so much affection.

    I hope I have been of some help.


  31. Dear Dr. Sunitha,
    Just saw your TED video on fb and needless to say like all the other mailers i cudn't stop myself to vent the anger and pain felt for these little angels. Your site seems to be down and we want to know how can we help towards such a noble cause? I can provide employment to several of them in uae please contact me ''

    regards & God bless U !

    Deepak Sharma, Dubai, UAE

  32. Dear Sunitha

    You might need to think about adding some mental health counselors on your staff to support your rehabilitation efforts.

    While it is important to provide economic self-sufficiency, healthcare and housing, equally important is mental health support. Human beings need not only material support but also emotional and spiritual support. So do explore the options to create partnerships with mental health practitioners and some progressive religious organizations from all different denominations.

    Preventing human trafficking and protecting the victims is the responsibility of everyone in society. So don't hesitate to reach out to these partners. It might very well be that for every 50 people you contact, only 1 will respond positively but still that is a move in the right direction.

    Hope this is helpful.

  33. Usually children and young people from a broken family background are emotional and quite difficult to understand. Sometimes they may indulge in such acts. But you on the other hand are operating such a huge organization. So I think you should take some strong action not to let such incidents occur again.
    I myself am a huge admirer of your work and hope that someday I may be able to help you in the noble cause.

  34. you are a courageous women... i appreciate your strength...
    forgiveness is the wight thing to be done for the girl who is dying.. i like to understand the psychology pf the people. why they do various things in various situation what is there past how is it affecting them. we usually judge people from present but sometimes there is a black past behind this. and different people react differently in different situation...
    and thanks for the little strength you gave to me to deal with my small problems. that actually seems small when i see problems you deal with...

  35. I can understand your hesitation in sharing, but we are glad you did. You are doing gods work, but you need to heal as well.

    I am sure the girl is "grateful" to have a boyfriend inspite of being sick. I am sure he made her feel that everyday. My concern is that he may also have advanced stages of HIV and will transmit it to others in future.

    God bless you and all the women you rescue.

  36. It must be that the guy is suffering from psychological problems. This will be a very rare incident; keep continuing you good work. I really appreciate your courage, kindness, openness, forgiveness etc..

  37. hope this does not affect ur dedication and courage. u r a role model to many.

  38. God help you, ma'am. There's no bigger virtue than forgiveness. Ur personality is a surprise. May be life has taught you much, that we youngsters should learn from you...

  39. Dear Sunitha,

    Your forgiveness carries a power of its own that may endure long after the act itself. I understand your staff's desire to protect you and keep you safe from harm. They see the huge amount of good that results from one person, you, and a small part of that good is now a threat to you and the good you do. But forgiveness is the act of the strong and it is not in you to be weak in this way. Please carry on.

  40. God bless you ... !!

  41. dear ma'am
    u r a role model to many including myself
    and obviously a gods gift....and a book to b learned
    god bless you....!!!!!

  42. Hi Sunitha,
    Only one thing i can ask is how can i join with you?

  43. dear sunitha madam,

    hat's off to your courage and dedication towards your noble are the real inspiration and role model of young India.......i salute to yoUr bravery.....just today i saw your TED video...and i m unable to hold my tears...i will be highly obliged ...if i can help you in any way ...

  44. You are greatest lady i've ever heard of..

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