My name is Gajala Khan. I'm 25 years old, married to a loving and caring husband and I also have one son who's name is Jed who is 2 years old now. Today, I feel blessed with my life. However, when I look back, my life felt terrible and painful. It was so difficult to survive back then. There was a lot of chaos and conflicts between my parents. When I was 7 years old my father took me and left home and we started living separately without mom and my other siblings. My dad used to misbehave with me and molested me. As a kid, I didn't clearly understand what was happening to me. All I knew was that I wanted it to stop and I felt fed up with my life back then. Later, on growing up I understood that whatever was happening with me was not right, so I started looking for help from somebody to remove me out from that situation. One year later, my father got married to another woman and asked me to call her "mom", which was extremely difficult to accept.
On the other hand, as there was no other option available for me then, I unwillingly had to accept her as my mom. I was trying my best to run away to start a new life somewhere else, but it was too difficult to do so. I shared my feelings with my neighbors, expecting help from their end but no one helped out. However, they all advised me to file a case against my dad. Hence, with the help of some kind people, I did file the case and my dad was thrown behind the bars. I was then shifted to a home called Asha Sadan for protection and shelter.
That's where the new phase of my life began. I'm so thankful and grateful to Raheen Didi, my counselor from OYA, Jaya Didi, and all the staff members of Asha Sadan for the care which was rendered to me during my stay at Asha Sadan. I never imagined that I would be able to complete my education, but through the guidance of Jaya Didi and Raheen Didi, I completed my education. Their love, care, and support made me feel like a human being again. I slowly learned to love and respect myself and build my confidence. Currently, I'm working as a CDP Chef and I love my work and my life. Whatever I'm today, is all because of Asha Sadan and OYA foundation.
When I compare my past life with my life today, I feel happy and blessed for 'Today'. In my opinion, Asha Sadan and OYA Foundation have made me a better human by teaching me to stand stronger in any situation, face it, and overcome it. The one thing I learned from Asha Sadan and Raheen Didi is to accept whatever comes in my life as an opportunity and make that opportunity valuable by inspiring others with my story, to give them the same strength and hope that I needed to come out of a situation that once seemed impossible and see the light of a new day.
Under their caring and nurturing wings, I have learned to never give up and just keep moving forward in life. No amount of words used to thank Asha Sadan, Raheen Didi, and OYA foundation for what they have done for my life can measure up to how I actually feel. My prayers and blessings are always with you OYA as you are the ray of hope for many individuals who swam through troubled waters like me. Thank You!
- Gazala Khan