Rajeshwari's Story | International Justice Mission shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love
Back to Stories

Rajeshwari's Story

May Digital Rajeshwari Story Page Image Hero

She Drew Her Way to Freedom

Help restore survivors of modern slavery, like Rajeshwari.

Rajeshwari was a 10-year-old girl who loved everything about going to school. She loved learning and longed to become a teacher when she grew up, full of innocence and big dreams for her future. But her parents fell into debt after her grandfather died ... and Rajeshwari’s dreams suddenly became a nightmare.

The 50,000 rupees ($600) needed to pay for the funeral was a burden the family couldn't bear, so Rajeshwari's father, Kumar, turned to a local lender who loaned him the money in exchange for labor in his brick kiln. What Kumar did not understand at the time was that there was no end to this deal, and his entire family would have to work alongside him to repay a debt that could never be repaid.

So instead of going to school, Rajeshwari went to work with her parents in the brick kiln, breathing in thick dust as they made bricks day after day. They were only rarely permitted to exit the grounds one person at a time — a method used by kiln owners to ensure that families can never escape together.

Thousands of children like Rajeshwari are trapped in modern slavery, working long hours without hope of freedom.

Give today to help rescue and restore more children.

Rajeshwari labored in the brick kiln for three long years before IJM became aware of the family’s situation. Planning a rescue operation proved difficult because the brick kiln was in a dense area surrounded by more than 100 other similar kilns. Any outsiders would be spotted immediately and put in danger by the suspicious owners.

The team was able to secretly give Rajeshwari's father a smartphone one day at the local market to help guide them to the family’s location. But when the time for rescue came, they were overwhelmed and had difficulty with the technology. That is when Rajeshwari became the hero of her own story.

May Digital Rajeshwari Story Page Body Image

Using her incredible memory, she drew a richly detailed map and sent it over the smartphone to the IJM rescue team. It was the family’s only shot at finding freedom safely.

“It was amazing to see how precisely each tree she drew fit into the path to the site,” an IJM investigator on the case said. “She gave the team all the information they needed to get to the correct location and save the family.”

“Today, after rescue, my dreams are coming true one by one,” a now 17-year-old Rajeshwari shared joyfully. “... I want to become a teacher and make sure every child in my community values education.”

You can help free victims of modern slavery and restore survivors like Rajeshwari.

Donate now to send rescue.

Select or Enter Monthly Gift Amount:


Or give using your Donor–Advised Fund Donor-Advised Funds

Billing Information

Your Donation: $ + $0.46 fees

Card Information

Your Donation: $ + $0.46 fees

You are giving a one-time gift.

Give with confidence BBB Accredited Charity and Guidestar Platinum Participant

You might also be interested in…

see more

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

More Information

Petra Kooman

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at events@ijm.ca