Briefly, tell us who you are and where you are from.

My name is Anita and I am from Mumbai, India. I’m 26 years old. I have three children. I currently work as a maid.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

I would like to describe myself as illiterate, hardworking, and helpless.

 What is your favorite color? Favorite activity?

 My favourite color is red. My favorite activity is cooking.

If you could do or be anything in the world, what would it be?

I would like to become a teacher. As someone who has not gone to school, I do understand the importance of education. If I could make one change in my life, I would go to school. 

What is a dream that you have? What is something that you are passionate about?

My dream is to see my children become educated and successful. I am very passionate about making my children successful. As a maid, life is very difficult. However, I want to work hard so that I can make my children have a good life and bright future.

Tell us your RISE story. What are you RISE-ing from? What are you RISE-ing to?

I was married at the age of 14. I had my first child at the age of 16. My second child was born when I was 18. I had my third child when I was 21. My husband is an alcoholic. He cleans the road-side gutters. He beats me every day when he returns home. My husband’s alcoholism has definitely strained the relationship. I currently work at 6 different households as a maid. My husband takes whatever money I make during the day to purchase alcohol. As a result, we do not even have enough food to eat. My children have to divide 1 cup of tea among the three of them. If we do have food, I first feed my husband and children. Often, there is not enough remaining and I will just live on water. We do not have proper access to bathrooms as it costs money to use the community bathroom. I am RISE-ing from domestic abuse and poverty. However, I believe that my ambition to make my children have a beautiful future gives me the strength and courage to push forward everyday. I am RISE-ing to my children.

What is one thing you want people reading this to know?

I want people to know that it is important to treat every individual the way you want to be treated. Also, if you have the drive and determination to accomplish something, you will definitely be able to achieve that goal.

What would you say to those who think they can’t make a difference in the world?

Anyone can make a difference in the world. As long as they have the passion and drive, nobody can stop them from succeeding.

What does RISE mean to you?

To me, RISE mean the ability to overcome obstacles with the help of loved ones. Nobody is is ever alone. There is always going to be someone who continues to watch over you and pray for you. 

Final thoughts?

Thank you for letting me share my story and for making me feel like I have a voice.